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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Red wine baby shrimps with olive and tomato quinoa

A handful of baby shrimps fried in red wine, garlic and fresh herbs, served on a bed of healthy quinoa boiled in soup and mixed with green olives and fresh tomatoes. The general range of flavors was definitely Mediterranean and the feel was airy, salty and light. 
Quinoa is one of our latest food crushes. We love its rich history (the Aztecs used to consume large quantities of this grain), its fluffy texture and the fact that it's a healthier (and creamier) version of rice. It takes a bit to cook it properly but it's worth the extra waiting time.
Shrimps and alcohol used during cooking is a very common combination due to how well it works. But usually people use something stronger than wine, like whiskey or brandy. You'll see that the wine, especially red, works best in combination with the herbs and garlic. Overall, I can't imagine anything about this dish that you won't enjoy. :)

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 100 g baby shrimps
  • 150 ml red wine
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 150 g quinoa
  • 500 ml chicken or fish stock
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 handful of green olives (ours were stuffed with red pepper)

For the quinoa there are two ways of cooking it. The fast way calls for a 1:2 ratio of grain and cooking liquid and about 30 minutes cooking time. The slightly longer way yields a fluffier quinoa and I recommend it. Use less liquid (about 1 and 1/4 of the quinoa quantity) and cook it covered for 35 minutes, with an extra 5 minutes just letting it covered after the cooking is over.
Anyhow you choose to cook it, there is the soaking pre-step left to do. So, first, measure the quinoa, put it in a colander and place it in a little water pot, allowing it to soak for 15 minutes. When the time is up drain the quinoa and pour more fresh water over the colander that contains it, to rinse it a few times.

Then place it to boil in the soup. Cover and let it cook on low-medium intensity until the liquid is absorbed (30-35 minutes). Let it rest for 5 minutes covered after you turn off the heat. The quinoa is done. While you wait you can prepare the shrimps. Place the wine and herbs in a little frying pan:

Heat and place the shrimps when it's starting to simmer:

Let them cook until all the liquid is evaporated. Stir once in a while. While you wait, chop up the tomato into rough chunks and slice the olives:

The shrimps should look like this when they're done:

And the quinoa like this:

Mix the quinoa with the tomato and olives and divide between the two serving plates:

Top each plate with half of the red wine shrimps and it's done. Dig in!


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