Shrimp-and-Pepper Pilau

Hugh Acheson gives this rustic, satisfying pilau (a variant of pilaf) nice depth of flavor by adding charred jalapeño and bacon. Slideshow:  Rice Pilaf Recipes 

Shrimp-and-Pepper Pilau
Photo: © Christina Holmes
Total Time:
1 hrs


  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice, preferably Carolina Gold

  • 3 cups water

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 large red bell pepper

  • 1 large jalapeño

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 3/4 pound medium shrimp—shelled, deveined and halved lengthwise

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the rice, water and a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes; fluff with a fork.

  2. Meanwhile, roast the red pepper and jalapeño directly over a gas flame or under a preheated broiler, turning, until charred all over. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool. Peel, seed and stem the peppers, then finely chop the red pepper and mince the jalapeño.

  3. In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter. Add the shrimp and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until nearly cooked through, about 2 minutes; transfer to a plate.

  4. Wipe out the skillet and heat the olive oil in it. Add the bacon and onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon fat is rendered and the onion is softened, about 10 minutes. Add the shrimp, garlic, red pepper and jalapeño and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp is white throughout, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pimentón, cayenne and vinegar, then fold in the rice and parsley. Season the pilau with salt and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Ripe, full-bodied white such as Chenin Blanc or Roussanne.

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