The Thanksgiving Eve dinner.
Ah, the calm before the storm. Like just about everyone else, I'll be driving somewhere for the big feast, get stuck in traffic, and finally arrive a little worse for the wear, ready to stuff my face silly. It'll be worth all the trouble in the world, but there is no denying it's hard work. So tonight I felt like something that was decidedly not difficult, time-consuming, or heavy. I wanted a fast dish that required few ingredients.
This recipe from Mark Bittman fits the bill perfectly. It's kind of inspiring what a whole bunch of garlic [Ed. note: Which, according to Anthony Bourdain, should not be used on the turkey] and a few slices of bread will do when mixed with chicken stock.
The broth comes out deceptively rich and the bread gives it body. The shrimp fight valiantly against the broth, adding a slight touch of sweetness to each sip. It's warming but not excessive; humble without being boring. Not a bad way to start a crazy holiday weekend.
- 1/4 cup extra virigin olive oil
- 10 medium garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 thick slices of French or Italian bread
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- 6 cups chicken stock or shrimp stock
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled
- Fresh parsley, minced
- Salt and pepper
Pour the oil into a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the garlic cloves and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook, flipping them occasionally, for about 10 minutes. They should be nicely browned. If they are cooking too fast, reduce heat to medium-low. You don't want them to burn. Remove them and set aside.
Turn heat to medium-low and add as many slices of bread that will fit in a single layer. Cook until browned on both sides, about four minutes. Remove and set aside. Repeat with other slices.
Pour in the stock and turn the heat to medium-high. When it's just about to boil, toss in the shrimp and cook until the shrimp are cooked and pink, about 4 minutes.
Place a slice of bread and a few cloves of garlic in four separate bowls. Ladle in some of the soup with shrimp. Garnish with a bit of parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.