Friday, June 3, 2011

A Visit To The Lowcountry

It's not quite jambalaya, it's certainly not risotto, it might be a distant relative of pilaf. Shrimp Pilau (pronounced "perloo" in its native Southern States) is a hearty combination of a roasted vegetable -- heavy on the onions -- stock, peppers, rice, bacon, and gently finished shrimp.
I thought my shrimp didn't have shells so I skipped the homemade stock in favor of a combination of wine and chicken broth. First I cooked four strips of bacon letting as much fat render out as possible. I set the bacon aside and cooked up a chopped onion and a chopped red pepper (I know in Charleston they would only use green but I just prefer the sweeter red) in the same pot for about ten minutes until nice and soft. Then I added in 1 1/2 cups of rice and let it cook over medium heat for about five minutes until translucent and ever so slightly toasted. Next I added in three chopped (mostly peeled) tomatoes, 1/4 cup of chopped parsley, 2 1/2 cups of my broth/wine combo, and plenty of black pepper. Because the stock wasn't homemade I tossed in one peeled carrot and a bay leaf for extra flavor. I brought the rice up to a boil and then covered the pot, turned down the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes until cooked through and the liquid was just about evaporated. I added in the shrimp, covered and cooked for another 7 minutes or so, stirred in the bacon, added salt to taste and was ready to serve.
Lowcountry in the West.

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