Monday, February 11, 2008

Crunchy Shrimp with Couscous & Sauce


You can't see the toasted couscous on the bottom, but it's there, topped with watercress, then lightly breaded shrimp, and drizzled with a delicious orange mayo sauce.

Another recipe from the "stack" I sorted through the other day. And this one is an absolute over-the-top winner. It's going into my "Top Favs" in my right column. There aren't all that many recipes in that list, but this one's going on it right now.

Ordinarily I might have passed by this recipe. We don't eat couscous, generally, because it's a high glycemic carb. Couscous is actually little tiny orbs of pasta, and takes no more than adding water (hot) to it and it's cooked and ready. But, this recipe won a cooking contest at Cooking Light in 2006. (I know, I told you, I've been behind in filing my recipes :-), and the rest of the recipe sounded so delish that I held onto it. DH and I went to a local farmer's market and had bought some fresh shrimp with no plan as to what I'd make with it.

Here's the crux of the recipe: you make a mayonnaise-based cold sauce with reduced orange juice, lime juice, cilantro, ginger and cumin. Then you toast the dry couscous in a large pan. THAT I'd never done before, but it added a wonderful taste to the simple prep of couscous. You add chicken broth and orange juice to plump up the couscous, then green onions and almonds at the last. The shrimp: rolled in egg white, then tossed around in a plastic bag with panko, cilantro, fresh ginger and some pepper. You quickly saute the shrimp, then start the artful arrangement: couscous on the bottom, a nice mound of fresh watercress, the hot shrimp, then you drizzle the whole thing with the sauce.


This is the couscous toasting golden brown in the pan.


The mayo (small amount, really) based orange ginger sauce that's drizzled over the top and becomes a kind of salad dressing.

The crunchy shrimp moments before serving. They're crusted with panko, cilantro, fresh ginger and ground black pepper.

The history of the recipe: Cooking Light - the Ultimate Reader Recipe Contest, 2006. There were several categories, but the judges were all, hands down, in love with this dish, which won first prize. The cook: Karen Tedesco of Webster Groves, Maryland.

Cook's Notes: I think next time I'd make a little more of the sauce - it was barely enough (because it's so darned good). Watch the couscous when you're toasting - it goes from normal to toasted in a matter of about 30-40 seconds. I'd chop up the watercress just a little bit. I'm kind of haphazard when I wrench off most of the stems, but even medium stems are hard to eat. This is a one-dish meal - you need nothing else with it. No salad. No side. It takes about 30-40 minutes from start to finish. Would make a lovely company meal.

Crunchy Shrimp with Toasted Couscous and Ginger-Orange Sauce
Recipe By: Karen Tedesco, Webster Groves, MO via Cooking Light
Servings: 4
SAUCE:
1 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon fresh ginger -- grated
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
COUSCOUS:
1 cup couscous -- dried
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons sliced almonds -- toasted
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
SHRIMP:
20 jumbo shrimp -- peeled and deveined (about 3/4 pound)
1 large egg white -- lightly beaten
1/2 cup panko
1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger -- grated
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups watercress -- washed, trimmed, coarsely chopped
1. To prepare sauce, bring 1 cup orange juice to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat; cool completely. Stir in 1 tablespoon cilantro and next 7 ingredients (through red pepper); set aside.
2. To prepare couscous, place couscous in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; cook 3 minutes or until toasted, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add 1 1/2 cups broth, 1/2 cup orange juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork; add onions, almonds, and butter, stirring until butter melts. Keep warm. If made an hour ahead, briefly reheat in same pan until it's hot all the way through.
3. To prepare shrimp, combine shrimp and egg white in a bowl, tossing to coat. Combine panko, 1 teaspoon cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, and black pepper in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add shrimp to bag; seal and shake to coat.
4. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; arrange shrimp in a single layer in pan. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until done.
5. Divide couscous evenly among 4 plates; top evenly with watercress and shrimp; drizzle sauce over shrimp.
Per Serving: 423 Calories; 17g Fat (34.3% calories from fat); 21g Protein; 52g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 63mg Cholesterol; 557mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 1 Fruit; 2 Fat.
Printer-friendly recipe, click title at top.

2 comments:

Toffeeapple said...

What an interesting recipe. I've heard about dry frying pasta before boiling it but couldn't quite see the point. You have made it clear to me. The flavourings in this dish are some of my favourites, especially the cilantro; or coriander as we call it over here.

Karen said...

Hi Carolyn,

I'm glad to have found your blog - this is my recipe! It's so fun to see that you enjoyed making it - this is one that I actually make a lot for company, too. And I agree; the amount of sauce is too small AND I usually add a little more oil to the pan when cooking the shrimp.

In order for this to be a "light" recipe, the fat portions are strictly portioned - you know how that goes.

Cheers!

Karen