Sunday, July 7, 2013

Shrimp & Couscous in Saffron Broth

Are y'all getting a ton of rain in your neck of the woods? Man alive, I can't remember feeling this water logged before! Back home in Texas, summer means drought like conditions, water restrictions, and brutal temps. By now, our water bill would have been sky high as we tried to keep the darn lawn alive. But here in North Carolina? Haven't had to water the lawn yet and it's thick, green, and gorgeous. It would be lovely to enjoy if it would stop raining long enough!

I think much of the east coast is experiencing these constant downpours as well but I don't think it's normal for this time of year. I hope? 

The downside to constant rain is that grilling is a bit more difficult, and you know I'm a huge fan of the grill! Thankfully, this recipe is whipped up on your stove top so the weather outside doesn't matter at all. 

We really loved this meal. Doesn't it look like something you'd get at a beach-side restaurant? Israeli couscous is one of my favorite textures and it works perfectly with the plump shrimp, fresh veggies, and saffron. And it cooks up in mere minutes! 

Shrimp & Couscous in Saffron Broth
For the shrimp:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 1/4 inch dice (about 2 cups)
3 carrots, cut into 1/4 inch dice (about 1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt and pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken stock

For the couscous:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons water
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

First make the couscous: Heat oil in a 4 quart pot over medium heat. Add couscous, stir to coat, and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, 1-2 minutes.

Add the water; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until couscous is tender and has absorbed the liquid, 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and stir in butter.

While the couscous is cooking, heat a large saute pan over medium. Add oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Cook the fennel, carrots, and saffron until they start to soften, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.

Season shrimp with salt and pepper and add to pan. Cook 1 minute and then turn shrimp. Pour in wine and stock and cook until shrimp are pink and opaque throughout, about 2 minutes.

To serve, spoon couscous in shallow bowls and top with shrimp, vegetables, and broth.   

Source: slightly adapted from Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home Cookbook

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