Orange-Scented Mediterranean Shrimp Braise
The braising liquid for this dish consists of a colorful mix of tomatoes, garlic, onion, carrots, and celery that I brighten with the zests and juice of orange and lime. I also include small potatoes to turn this into a satisfying one-dish meal. The shrimp get tossed in just a few minutes before serving, making the finished dish a real cornucopia of seafood and vegetables. Since this braise comes out rather soupy, serve it in shallow pasta bowls. If you’ve got guests with raging appetites, ladle the braise over linguine or rice.
Author: Molly Stevens
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 /2 cup finely chopped yellow onion (about ½ small onion)
- 1 /2 cup finely chopped carrot (1 small carrot)
- ½ cup finely chopped celery (1/2 stalk)
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup dry white wine or dry white vermouth
- 2 strips orange zest, removed with a vegetable peeler (each about 3 inches by ¾inch)
- 1 strip lime zest, removed with a vegetable peeler (about 2 inches by ½inch)
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- One 14½-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped (or 1⅓cups chopped, peeled, and seeded ripe plum tomatoes)
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- ¾ pound small potatoes, preferably fingerlings or white creamers
- ¼ cup small green olives, such as Picholine, not pitted
- 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
- ¾ pound large shrimp (30 to 35 count per pound), peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces (optional)
- The aromatics and braising liquid: Heat the oil in a large deep lidded skillet (13-inch works well) over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Season with salt and pepper, stir, and sauté until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, sauté another minute more. Add the white wine, orange and lime zests, and orange and lime juices, and let the liquid simmer vigorously until reduced by half, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, crushed red pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the parsley. Return to a simmer.
- The braise: Turn the heat to very low, cover, and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Then add the potatoes, olives, and capers. Stir so the potatoes are evenly distributed, replace the cover, and continue to simmer until the potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a knife, another 30 to 40 minutes.
- The finish: Add the shrimp, leave the pan uncovered, and adjust the heat so the liquid simmers gently. Simmer just until the shrimp are cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, and taste. If the sauce tastes too acidic or too sharp, stir in the butter. The small bit of butter will soften the acidity nicely. Taste again for salt and pepper. Remove the zests if you like, and serve in shallow bowls.