Market Recipe: Shrimp & Pea Shoot Dijon



Shrimp & Pea Shoot Dijon

By Chef Maggie Perkins

1 pound medium to large shrimp, shells on
6-8 cups fresh green pea shoots
1 pint chicken stock
2 T Dijon mustard
1 tsp thyme, dried
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (to cover pan lightly)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Peel shrimp, reserving shells. Set aside.  Wash pea shoots and pat dry well, trimming browned leaves and largest stems, then rough chopping through remaining stems into bite-sized lengths *.  Set aside.In a deep saucepot, combine stock with reserved shrimp shells. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium, and hold at a very slight rolling boil until stock is reduced by half. **Remove shells. Cover and reserve.

In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat until it ‘shimmers’. Add shrimp in one layer, cook turning once, until shrimp are pink and opaque (about 1 minute per side). Remove to cool. Reduce heat. Add pea shoots, stirring frequently until wilted. While wilting greens, roughly chop shrimp. Return to pan with wilted shoots.

Return stock to a low boil. Whisk in mustard and thyme until well blended. Correct seasonings.

Transfer seasoned reduced stock to skillet with shoots and shrimp. Toss well to coat, warming through.

Adjust seasonings. Serve.
Serving suggestion:  serve all atop a bed of well-seasoned cheesy grits or soft buttered polenta.
*Pea shoot stems can be fairly long, and unwieldy to eat if kept in one length.

** Optional, but worth the effort: Savour every bit of shrimpy-flavored goodness from the shells by bundling them in cheesecloth and wringing, pressing, squeezing, hammering (okay, don’t hammer. I got carried away, there) and ‘juicing’ the bundle over the stock before discarding shells. Usually I’d stick the shells in a bag in the freezer, collecting for seafood stock, but these shells, once wrung this way, have worn out their culinary welcome.  They’re dead, Fred.

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