Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Shrimp with Star Anise and Rice with Vermicelli

By Jill

I love to plan my weekday meals on Sunday nights. Once I get the kids in bed, I plop down in my comfy living room chair, take in the quiet of my home and think about how I can make magic out of what needs to be used up in my fridge. Half my week's meals are inspired by nearly-gone produce while the other half are inspired by whatever has piqued my interest that day. This past Sunday I was totally uninspired so I decided to go through my recipe folder to see if anything I've tucked in there over the years would jump out at me. Sure enough, I found this wonderful recipe I had clipped back in 2007 from the Chicago Tribune. This particular recipe caught my eye because the headlining ingredient, star anise, was a spice I recently added to my collection that I had yet to use. I also happened to have on hand a bag of frozen raw shrimp, loads of green onions and, as always, plenty of garlic piling up in my pantry.

The end result of my experimentation was amazing! This meal came together in a quick 10 minutes and tasted so delicious I had to run some over to Katia as she loves most things seafood-related.

I served this with long-grain rice cooked with vermicelli - yum!

Hint: Set rice to cook first and then begin making this dish so both are ready at the same time.

Shrimp with Star Anise
From the Chicago Tribune, 2007

2 tablespoons olive oil
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 bunches green onions, sliced
1 tsp. ground star anise
2 lbs. frozen raw shrimp
1 clementine, peeled, seeded, and divided into segments
1 cup orange juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add garlic, onions and star anise. Cook for 2 minutes then add shrimp, clementine segments, orange juice, salt and pepper. Bring to boil, reduce heat to med. high and cook almost covered for 4-5 minutes (do not over cook shrimp). Turn off heat and add in cilantro.

Divide rice onto plates, place shrimp on top evenly over plates, drizzle some of pan juices on top.

Rice with Vermicelli

2 cups long-grain rice
1 tbsp. butter
1 Maggi vegetable cube
1 cup vermicelli noodles
3 cups boiling water

Set water to boil separately.

Heat butter over high heat, add vermicelli and toast till begins to brown, add maggi cube and break up, add rice and heat for a few more seconds.

Add boiling water to rice mixture, make sure it stays boiling, cover, reduce heat to low and cook covered for 15 minutes.

Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

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