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.
Local ingredients: Northern shrimp from the F/V Rimrack, storage tomatoes from Moondance Gardens, Yellow Eye beans from Baer’s Best Beans, turnips from Stout Oak Farm, garlic and chives from home.
11/12 update: Submitted to My Legume Love Affair #53, organized by The Well-Seasoned Cook.
Just (finally) finished my garden review and saw your new post. Mmmm that looks and sounds yummy and the shrimp picture is so cool. Getting the shrimp right off the boats is so amazing! We used to get fresh local seafood right off the boat at a place called Joe Patty’s in Pensacola FL when we were there for a summer. It’s the best!
We feel very lucky to be able to buy it this way…
So jealous of your fresh off the boat shrimp. Do you use the shrimp shells to make broth? Know about black-eyed peas but not yellow eye beans.
Yes, we do use the shells to make broth, wonderful for risotto! The Yellow Eye beans are a Maine heirloom dried bean, especially great for chowders and one of my favorites.
Never tried yellow eyed beans … will have to try … looks delicious.
I understand that they serve smaller ones raw and still wriggling in Thailand – I’ve never had the privilege(?) but my brother was presented with a plateful when he was there, he only ordered it once though….somehow I think I’d prefer your recipe – much more appealing.
I’ve had ebi sushi at Japanese restaurants, and I know some of the fishermen here will eat them fresh… I think having a dipping sauce helps!
Just discovered your blog and as a gardener I found it to be wonderful!
Welcome, Lisa, to the amazing online community of gardeners!
The eyes on the shrimp are starting to freak me out a bit. We aren’t used to seeing them in their whole form here in the deep south. I have never heard of yellow eye beans, do they go by another name?
Though they may be grown elsewhere now, Yellow Eye beans are an heirloom particular to Maine.
Though I just finished a satisfying dinner, your description made my mouth water, in part because I have never tasted Northern shrimp and in part because the combination with beans sounds and looks particularly appealing. Thank you so much for your contribution to My Legume Love Affair!