Thursday, June 18, 2009

csa week 1: leeks with ginger and shrimp

it sure seems like the majority of my csa recipes are going to come from mark bittman. my goal is to really enjoy the produce i'm getting. to me, this means not hiding the flavors of vegetables but cooking dishes that really feature them and bring out their flavors rather than downplay them. however, at the same time, i'm also trying to cook in a way that isn't just eating the vegetable plain (always a good option). bittman is undoubtedly the simple food/simple flavors master (the minimalist).

i always think of leeks as a winter food undoubtedly because of potato leek soup. and this is how i mostly use them. ok, 90% of the time, that's how i use them so it was quite exciting to get some last week and figure out a way to use them outside of soup. so back to bittman. his leeks with ginger and shrimp seemed like the perfect, simple recipe for my leeks and a weeknight dinner. i have to be honest in saying that i didn't actually cook this. i was going to be home late, etc, etc, etc, so the boy took over cooking as per my and bittman's instructions.

this dish turned out delicious. major props to the boy, bittman AND trader joe's jumbo frozen raw shrimp. seriously, they are going to be added to my regular grocery shopping list. the leeks got all crunchy and combined perfectly with the strong but not at all overwhelming ginger flavor. we ate it over toast, as per bittman's instructions.

mark bittman's leeks with ginger and shrimp
  • 1/4 cup peanut or olive oil
  • 4 large leeks (light green and white parts only), about 3 pounds, thoroughly washed and chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds peeled shrimp
  • 1/4 cup minced ginger
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon good stock, dry sherry or soy sauce, optional (didn't do this)
  • put half the oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, and turn heat to high. when a bit of smoke appears, add the leeks, all at once. let sit for a couple of minutes, then cook, stirring only occasionally, for about 10 minutes. when the leeks dry out and begin to brown, remove them from the pan and set aside.
  • with the heat still on high, add the remaining oil to the pan, immediately followed by the shrimp. sprinkle with the ginger. cook for about a minute, then stir. cook, stirring every minute or so, until the shrimp are almost all pink, about 5 minutes. add the leeks, along with some salt and pepper. when the shrimp are done (no traces of gray will remain), stir in the liquid if desired, taste and adjust seasoning, and serve.

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