Shrimp Via Augusta

There are times when I’m so torn between getting a photo so I can share a recipe with you, and eating dinner, that my photo ends up suffering in the process.  I wish this one gave you a crisper, closer view of these beautiful shrimp.  But I also wish it showed the absolutely amazing sauce that seems to have soaked down to the bottom.   But I mostly wish you could smell the delectable aromas emanating from this bowl.  You would then forgive me for being in such a hurry with my camera.

We do love shrimp here in the Circle B Kitchen, but I think we just adopted a new favorite.  I love it when you take a bite of something for the first time and everyone’s eyes simultaneously pop open in an OMG! sort of way.  Just the aromas from this shrimp brought on a few of those.  But holy cow, this was good!

What makes this shrimp stand out from the crowd is the flavor and aroma of the smoked Spanish paprika (also called pimenton de la vera). 

If you don’t already have it, you must get your hands on some.  I got mine last time I was at the Savory Spice Shop in Boulder, CO., but many grocery stores carry it now, and if yours doesn’t, you can order it online.  I’m pretty sure that there is no Shrimp Via Augusta without it.  And when that smoked paprika meets up with the lemon juice and herbs, well, words just fail.

It is traditional to serve this with rice and pine nuts, so I made up a batch of jasmine rice and added some sautéed shallots and pine nuts.  At the last minute I decided to also add some chopped sautéed beet greens.  I must say that if the shrimp hadn’t been so good, we would have been happy just eating the rice.  But together, they are way more than the sum of their parts.  

I really have a terrible habit of messing around with recipes, much to my ruination at times, but I’m awfully glad I had the good sense to leave this one alone.  It’s hard to imagine a happier shrimp.

Shrimp Via Augusta

Printable Recipe

Adapted from the SF Chronicle

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled but tails left on

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup chopped shallots

2 teaspoons smoked paprika (pimenton de la Vera)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Salt to taste

1 lemon cut into wedges

Combine the shrimp, olive oil, shallots and paprika in bowl; mix thoroughly. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes to marinate.

Five minutes before cooking the shrimp, preheat the broiler.

Turn the shrimp mixture into a shallow, oven-proof dish just large enough to hold them in a single layer. Use a spatula to make sure all the marinade makes it into the cooking dish. Place the dish on the highest oven shelf and broil the shrimp for 2 minutes on one side, then turn and broil for 1 to 2 minutes on the other side. The shrimp should just barely be firm; do not overcook.

Remove the dish from the oven, add the lemon juice, parsley and chives and stir well. Add a bit of salt, if desired, but shrimp often are briny enough on their own. Serve with pan juices, lemon wedges and rice with pine nuts (recipe follows).

Serves 2 or 3

Rice with Pine Nuts

1 cup of jasmine rice

1 large shallot, minced

1 3/4 cups water

1 - 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup chopped beet greens (optional)

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup of toasted pine nuts

Rinse the rice in cold water and drain until the water runs clear (2- 3 times) and let drain. 

In a small skillet sauté the shallot in the olive oil until fragrant (about 3 minutes).  Add the beet greens and saute another few minutes.  Sprinkle with a little salt.  

At this point I just dump everything (except the pine nuts) in my rice cooker and push the button.  In about 45 minutes I have perfectly lovely rice.  Alternately, you can do this in a pan on the stove.  Just bring it all to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

While the rice cooks toast up the pine nuts in the saute pan that you used for the shallots.

Remove the rice from the heat (do not lift the lid) and let sit for another 10 minutes before stirring in the pine nuts.