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Shrimp Creole with Green Onion Quinoa Salad

Photo: Louisiana Seafood
From: Ralph Brennan, Café B, New Orleans. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
6 medium-to-large garlic cloves, minced
1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
2 medium-sized green sweet peppers, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
7 vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped

2 cups shrimp stock (recipe follows)
leaves from 3 sprigs of Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, minced
leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme, minced
1¼ cups good-quality dry white wine, divided
2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
¾ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
½ tsp. ground cayenne, divided
32 fresh large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp. ground sweet paprika
3 green onions, green part only, sliced thin
2 cups cooked quinoa salad, recipe to follow

Shrimp Stock:
½ pound shrimp heads and tails
1 medium-sized onion, peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 sprigs Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
4 sprigs thyme
4 small whole bay leaves
2½ quarts cool water

Green Onion and Quinoa Salad:
2 cups cooked organic quinoa (start with 1 cup raw quinoa and follow cooking directions on the package for best results)
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 lemon
2 oz. extra virgin olive oil
to taste, salt and pepper

In 4-quart nonreactive saucepan over medium high heat, heat ½ Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil. Add garlic and cook just until it starts to brown, about one minute. Add white onions, sweet peppers and celery, and cook until onions are clear, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add  tomato paste and cook and stir two minutes, scraping the pan bottom clean as you stir. Add tomatoes, stock, parsley, thyme, 1 cup of the wine, 1 tsp. kosher salt, ½ tsp. black pepper and ¼ tsp. cayenne. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place shrimp in large mixing bowl and season with 1 tsp. salt, paprika, ¼ tsp. black pepper and ¼ tsp. cayenne.

Over medium-high heat, add remaining olive oil in heavy 12-inch skillet. Add shrimp and sauté until they are about halfway cooked, about two minutes. Add remaining ¼ cup of wine, stirring thoroughly.

Once tomato sauce has simmered 20 minutes, add shrimp and liquid in skillet to the sauce. Continue simmering just until shrimp are cooked through, about two minutes more. Do not overcook shrimp. Stir in green onions.

For shrimp stock: In a heavy 5½-quart stockpot or Dutch oven, combine all the stock ingredients.

Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat and slowly simmer, uncovered, for 90 minutes. During this time, skim any foam or coagulants from the surface as they develop and replenish the water as the liquid evaporates.

When the simmer is complete, strain the stock through a very fine mesh strainer.

Serving Suggestion: Use the stock immediately or allow it to cool down and store it in the refrigerator overnight or in the freezer for up to one month.

For green onion and quinoa salad: Follow the cooking directions on the quinoa package and set aside to cool.

When ready to serve with the shrimp Creole, place the cooked quinoa into a mixing bowl with the sliced green onions, extra virgin olive oil and the juice of one lemon.

Season with salt and pepper. Let sit for 5 minutes, taste and adjust seasoning.

To plate: Mold salad in a small timbale in center of plate. Arrange shrimp and Creole sauce around salad and garnish with a few sliced green onions on top of quinoa salad.

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