Sunday, April 13, 2008
Shrimp with Steel Cut Irish Oats and a Saffron Beurre Blanc
Were you one of those people this year that bought John McCann’s Irish Oatmeal around St Patty’s day to feel more Irish? You know the one in the steel can that looks like mother antiquity herself birthed it? I wasn’t. I was the person who bought it LAST year and still have not used it all because the three times I followed the ‘Irish Porridge’ instructions on the back I was duped by marketing and a nostalgia that wasn’t even mine. I was raised with ‘Cream of Wheat’ and Honey Nut Cheerios.
I am currently in the midst of Operation Clear-Out-the-Cupboard. An effort to use victuals in there that I rarely, if ever, use. The first assassination; John McCann. The great thing about 100% Whole grain oats, besides being good for you (lots of Fiber, protein, iron and high in B-Viatmins) is the amount of sticky starch they give off when cooked properly. For oats, this characteristic gives a velevety mouth feel without the butter and cream. There is cheese and yogurt in this recipe, but it is in very small amounts and you could leave these out if need be.
Porridge is pretty poor tasting without the addition of lots of maple syrup, sugar or some other flavoring agent. This recipe takes these oats away from breakfast altogether and uses it in a savory application (My Irish grandmother would refuse it on principle).
1 Bag of Uncooked, Frozen U/10 Shrimp
Saffron Beurre Blanc
½ Shallot, diced
100 ml Rice Vinegar
300 ml White Wine
1 Bay Leaf
2 ¾ Sticks of butter, cubed
3 Pinches of Saffron
3 Tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Bay leaves
1 Cup McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oats
4 Tbls Cup Rice Vinegar
1 Generous Pinch of Saffron
1/2 Tbls Sriracha
Salt, to taste
2 Rstd Red Peppers, diced
1/2 Cup Greek Fage Yogurt
1/2 Cup Goat Cheese
Cheese Rinds (Optional)
Scallions, sliced thin
1. Oats: Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add Olive Oil and bay leaves. Pour in 1 cup of Steel Cut Oats. Continue at a rolling boil until the water begins to thicken. Once the water is viscous, adjust the flame and continue at a low simmer for 15-20 minutes. If you have leftover cheese rinds you can add them now. After 8 minutes of simmering you’ll need to keep an eye on the oats because they will stick to the bottom if you don’t stir frequently. Think of it as a risotto, the more you stir the more starch is let off and the more velevety it will feel in your mouth.
2. While the oats are cooking add the pinch of saffron to warm water and let soak for 5 minutes. Dice up red peppers and slice the scallions.
3. Once the oats are thickened and most of the water has reduced, you have in front of you Porridge or Gruel. Take the oats off the heat and add vinegar, sriracha, yogurt, cheese, peppers, scallions and salt if needed. Taste and adjust. Set aside and keep warm.
4. Beurre Blanc: Add saffron to warm water and let soak. Place shallots, vinegar, bay leaf and wine into a skillet and reduce. Once the mixture has reduced to nearly a syrup, take skillet off the heat and whisk in the cold butter a little at a time. Add saffron and continue to whisk until everything is incorporated. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Keep warm. If you want, you can add the shallots to the oats.
5. Shrimp: I bought one frozen bag of uncooked shelled U/10 Shrimp which means 10 per pound at Trader Joes for this dish, use what your supermarket has. Sub scallops for shrimp if the scallops are fresher. Devein and shell your shrimp. Keep the shells. Heat a skillet with 1 Tbls of butter and 1 tbls of veg oil. Saute shrimp with the shells. Shrimp cook quickly so this should be no longer than 5 minutes or so depending on how thick your shrimp are. Remove shrimp and shells separately. As long as your butter/oil mixture is not burned incorporate this into the beurre blanc.
6. Reheat oats, plate shrimp and drizzle the beurre blanc around your masterpiece.