Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Shrimp with Herbed Olive Oil #PantryInsiders

This is the first of a series of articles I'm writing for Pompeian, makers of olive oils and vinegars. Right up my alley. I go through olive oil like it grows on trees.


Pompeian has three oils in its Varietals Collection, which are oils made from a single variety of olive. I chose to work with the Picholine, since it's an olive I'm familiar with, but I've never tried a picholine olive oil.

The other two oils in the collection are Arbequina and Koroneiki.

One cool thing about these single-source oils is that you can look up the origin of the oil, including the mill, the country, and the harvest date. All you need is the lot number from the bottle. Or use your smart phone and scan the QR code on the bottle.

Mine came from Morocco.

Even better is that these oils are affordable - you're not going to have to dip into the college fund to make a salad - they sell for about $6.99 for a 16-ounce bottle, but I've seen them locally for less.

The picholine was described as "a medium-bodied oil with a green fruitiness, hints of herbs and a pleasing balance of bitterness, great for meats and sauces." So it was the middle-ground between the other two. I tasted it and started brainstorming. I wanted a recipe where you could taste the oil, but not just oil drizzled over something.

I decided to pair it with shrimp. And, I've got two options for you.

This recipe takes advantage of parsley stems - the part you're likely to throw away for other recipes. You don't have to use the stems, but if you bought parsley for another recipe, you might as well use stems for this.

Otherwise, use leaves and stems of about 1/4 of a bunch of parsley. Eyeball it - this doesn't need to be exact.

Shrimp with Herb Oil (or mayo!)

1/2 cup Pompeian Picholine olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, peeled
Stems from 1 large bunch parsley
12 extra-large shrimp, peeled and cleaned
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup prepared mayonnaise (optional)
Lemon juice (optional)

Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil on gentle heat in a nonskillet add the garlic and cook, stirring as needed. until the garlic is cooked and soft. It's fine if the garlic browns a little, but don't let it burn. If it does, start over.

Pour the oil and garlic into your food processor add the parsley and the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Process until the mixture is as smooth as you can get it to be.

Strain the mixture through a fine strainer and discard the solid bits - we're just after the flavored oil. Taste and add more salt, if desired.

Heat the skillet again with the residual oil - you can add more if you think you need it, but you shouldn't need more than a teaspoon or so.

Cook the shrimp in the skillet, turning them over when cooked on one side, until just cooked through.

Serve warm, drizzled with the herb oil. Drizzle with a bit of lemon juice, if you like.

Shrimp with Herb and Olive Oil Mayo

These shrimp, served cold, are excellent with a green herb-olive oil mayo. Here's how.

Put the 1/4 cup of prepared mayonnaise in a small bowl. Drizzle the flavored oil into the mayonnaise, whisking to incorporate it.

If you add it slowly and keep whisking, the oil will emulsify into the mayonnaise and it will stay thick, rather than thinning out.

Taste, after you've added two tablespoons of the flavored oil and add more oil, if desired - how much you add is totally up to you. Add more salt, if needed. You can also add a bit of lemon juice, if you like.

Serve the mayonnaise with chilled shrimp.

If you make more mayonnaise than you need, you can thin it with a bit of buttermilk or or milk and use it as a salad dressing or drizzle over vegetables.

This post is sponsored by Pompeian as part of the #PantryInsiders program.