SHRIMP CHERMOULA

SHRIMP CHERMOULA (for four)

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“The fact that Algeria shares culinary traditions with Spain, Italy and France is evident in many of its dishes, like this scabetche (which is quite similar in spirit to Spanish escabeche).  The shrimp is pickled in a gently tangy spice mixture for a subtle play of flavors.  Chermoula refers to North African combination of ingredients in the marinade — though every country, town and even family that makes chermoula creates its own special blend.”

 2 pounds large shrimp in shell, peeled, leaving tail fan attached, and deveined

 3 large shallots, finely chopped (1 cup)

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 

1 small leek (white and pale green parts only) finely chopped 

1 garlic clove, minced

1 fresh Serrano chile (optional) seeded and finely chopped

¼ teaspoon sweet paprika

1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)

1/8 teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon grated lemon zest

½ cup fresh lemon juice 

2 teaspoons mild honey 

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro


  1. Cook shrimp in a large pot of boiling water until just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and cool.
  1. Cook shallots in 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until very tender, about 8 minutes.
  1. Meanwhile, wash leek and pat dry. Add leek, garlic and chile (if using) to shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add paprikas and turmeric and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and juice, honey, parsley, ½ teaspoon salt and remaining ¼ cup oil.
  1. Toss shrimp with sauce in a glass or ceramic bowl and marinate, covered and chilled, at least 8 hours. Season with salt and serve in sauce.

 

from Gourmet Magazine, February, 2008

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