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Spice Dusted shrimpWhen I think of shrimp, I think of my mother-n-law who lives in the Panhandle of Florida, right off the Gulf Coast. She was telling us that she went last week to buy as much gulf shrimp as she could, to put away. It was sobering to hear that it may be difficult to buy gulf shrimp for who knows how long. The oil spill that occurred in April 2010 on the gulf will affect fishermen, sea life, wildlife, and the quality of life for years to come. The Gulf is an economic life force for many of the people living along the Gulf Coast.

As we were eating our Egyptian shrimp dish this evening, I got teary-eyed when my husband talked about the gulf. This place has given all of us fond memories of a beach vacation~fishing, swimming, casting nets, snorkeling, and surfing. For years, we would go to Florida and have the best gulf shrimp gumbo and boiled shrimp. Our vacation would center around that wonderful sweet gulf crustacean.

In preparation of the visiting families, my husband’s grandmother and mother would buy pounds of fresh gulf shrimp from the shrimping boats that had just pulled in. Here are the ingredients for a perfect shrimp boil:  Boiled gulf shrimp seasoned perfectly; large tablecloth down on the dining table; paper-plates; and lots of napkins. The whole clan would sit around the table peeling the shrimp, eating and talking about shrimp!  It was no wonder that there was a blitz on the local shrimp markets. Perhaps, like my mother -n- law, trying to keep memories alive.

For Egyptians, the Nile is a life force too; providing transportation, food, water and the soil needed for cultivation. Without it, Ancient Egypt could not have existed. The river’s water and the rich soil contributed to the fine art of agriculture for the ancient civilization. The people of old lived along the banks of the Nile, fishing and farming. Without that, we couldn’t have experienced the rich food tradition that Egyptians has given our family tonight.

Just as we have created food memories of the Gulf Coast, we are also celebrating new food memories. This recipe is a “piece de resistance” – a showpiece, masterful and perfect. We delighted in the lemony garlic sauce that gingerly bathed the shrimp. Serve it for any special occasion and get all the praise.

Spice Dusted Shrimp~Gambari Makri bi-Roz By Amy Riolo

4 servings

1/2 cup unbleached, all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2#’s shrimp, rinsed, shelled, and deveined

3 Tablespoons butter or olive oil

2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped

1 head of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

3/4 cup vegetable stock or fish stock

Juice of 1 lemon

4 Cups prepared Egyptian Rice ( see recipe in last post)

5 Tablespoons of finely chopped parsley

Pour the flour into a shallow dish or plastic storage bag. Add cumin, salt and pepper. Toss shrimp in flour, coating all sides.

Heat the butter or olive oil in a wide frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Carefully add shrimp and cook on top of the onions until they begin to turn light pink in color, 3 -4 four minutes. Turn shrimp over and cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes.

When shrimp have all turned pink, add the stock to the pan. Lower heat to low and cook, uncovered, for about 2 minutes or until broth is reduced to half its original volume. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.

Place rice on serving platter. Top with shrimp and sauce. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve warm.


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