Chef Sean Brock's take on this classic rice stew has shrimp, smoked trout and clams. He cooks the rice until crispy on the bottom, then uses it as a garnish.
Slideshow: Light Stews
18 large head-on shrimp (about 2 1/4 pounds)—shelled and deveined, heads and shells reserved
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1/4 cup drained smoked baby clams (from one 3-ounce can)
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups Carolina Gold rice (10 ounces; see Note)
4 ounces smoked trout or catfish, skinned and flaked
2 fresh bay leaves or 1 dry bay leaf
How to Make It
In a pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the shrimp heads and shells and simmer for 20 minutes, skimming off any foam from the surface. Strain the shrimp broth into a bowl and keep warm. Discard the heads and shells.
In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the peanut oil. Add the clams and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden and fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion starts to soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in the rice, then stir in the trout and bay leaves and season with salt. Add enough of the shrimp broth to cover the rice (about 2 1/2 cups) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the rice is just tender, 20 minutes.
Lay the shrimp on the rice in a single layer. Cover and cook until the shrimp are cooked through, 6 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.
Spoon the rice and shrimp onto plates. Scrape up the crunchy rice crust on the bottom of the casserole, spoon some over the shrimp and serve.
Carolina Gold is a long-grain rice that has a sweet, clean flavor. It's available at ansonmills.com.
A crisp lager can pair with a wide range of flavors, acting as a palate refresher.
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