The season for Northern Shrimp — a sweet, delicate wintertime treat — has finally arrived. We buy buckets of them straight off the boat, so fresh they’re still wriggling around. Left overnight to calm themselves down, we then roll up our sleeves and get to peeling. It’s a simple technique that differs somewhat from dealing with their larger brethren, but one well worth learning. Soon our freezer will be restocked and we’ll continue to enjoy them long after their brief season has passed.
I like the play of seafood’s briny flavors against more earthy ones and, with a pot of yellow eye beans already made, this pairing of two quintessential New England ingredients came together quickly. Not quite a soup nor a stew, this particular medley of Northern shrimp and beans reminded me more of a deconstructed chowder. Some chives from the windowsill and a glug of good olive oil was all that was needed to to bring this dish together. What began as a mid-week meal of gussied up leftovers turn out unexpectedly reviving. As a winter storm lashed the windows, we barely paused between spoonfuls and then, only to murmur to one another how good it was.
Northern Shrimp with Tomatoes and Yellow Eye Beans
Olive oil or other cooking fat
1 clove garlic, chopped
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 small tomato, diced
1 pound peeled Northern Shrimp
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups of Yellow Eye beans and turnips (recipe in archive), kept warm
Chives for garnish
Start by sauteing the chopped garlic and red pepper flakes in some good olive oil in a fry pan until fragrant. Once the garlic has begun to color, toss in the diced tomatoes, and cook until they’re beginning to relax. The shrimp come last, a quick stir until they’re barely opaque. Season and scoop atop a warm bowlful of warm beans.