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Saffron Poached Shrimp with Shaved Fennel and Citrus Vinaigrette

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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2 pounds (16/20-count) whole shrimp

Ice, for cooling the shrimp

2 pinches saffron

1 cup white wine

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 bulbs fennel, roughly chopped

1 Spanish onion, roughly chopped

1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped

1 tomato, cut in 1/2

8 cups water

1 bunch fresh tarragon

1 bunch fresh basil

Kosher salt, for seasoning

Shaved Fennel, recipe follows

Fennel fronds, for garnish

Shaved Fennel:

1 medium bulb fennel, sliced thinly

1 ripe avocado, sliced

1 grapefruit, sections removed

Citrus vinaigrette, recipe follows

Citrus Vinaigrette:

1 clove garlic, finely grated

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon orange juice

Pinch salt

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup canola oil


Special equipment:
6-inch bamboo skewers
  1. Remove the heads and shells from the shrimp, keeping the tails intact, and reserve. Devein the shrimp and set aside on ice.
  2. For poaching liquid: steep the saffron in the white wine. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until oil slides easily across the pan, add the reserved shrimp heads and shells and cook until they turn an orange-red color. Add the fennel, onion, carrot and gently brown, about 2 minutes. Using a cheese grater, gently grate the tomato into the broth and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. Add the white wine and saffron mixture, water, whole tarragon, and whole basil. Bring to a boil and reduce to a gentle simmer for 45 minutes, skimming frequently. Strain and set aside.
  3. For the skewers: place shrimp on a skewer, piercing through the tail and body, about 3 per skewer. Season with kosher salt.
  4. Return the poaching liquid to the stove and heat to a gentle simmer. Add the shrimp skewers to the liquid and cook, until the shrimp are firm and just cooked through, being careful not to over cook, about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Serve on top of Shaved Fennel with Citrus Vinaigrette and garnish with fennel fronds.

Shaved Fennel:

  1. Carefully arrange fennel, avocado, and grapefruit on a plate and dress with the Citrus Vinaigrette.

Citrus Vinaigrette:

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
  1. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the garlic, honey, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, orange juice, and salt. Gradually pour the olive oil and canola oil into the mixture while whisking. Set aside.