I love the hint of anise flavor in this dish which is so compatible with the shrimp. The couscous cooks quickly and has a delicious rich flavor. I added a roasted red pepper to the dish for a hint of sweetness. My husband just loved this dish especially with the gulf shrimp. I had some giant white beans on hand and they were a great addition to the couscous adding a bit of texture and creaminess. Happy cooking all!
Yield 2-4 people
- 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon sauté oil
- 2 teaspoons old bay seasoning
- 2 tablespoons or so of ouzo (pernod also works)
- Fresh squeezed lemon
- 1 cup Israeli couscous
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 fennel bulb, small 1/4 “ dice
- 1 cup large white beans
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup diced San marzano tomatoes
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 roasted red pepper, peeled and diced
- reserved fennel fronds for garnish
In a medium pot, heat the butter and olive oil on medium heat and add fennel and garlic, sautéing and seasoning with salt and pepper, mixing for a few minutes until fragrant and translucent. Add tomato paste and tomatoes and continue to sauté another several minutes as tomatoes break down. Stir in couscous and coat each pearl well. Add stock, peppers and beans along with smoked paprika. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low cover and simmer for 8-12 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
While you are preparing couscous, prepare shrimp. Pat dry with paper towel to absorb any and all excess moisture. Add a tablespoon or 2 of oil to a heavy bottom grill pan or cast iron pan to medium high. Season shrimp generously with Old Bay Seasoning. Sauté shrimp for 3-4 minutes a side. Once the shrimp has flipped and has about 1 minute left add ouzo, be cautious as the high alcohol content may flame. Allow it to burn off for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and squeeze fresh lemon on shrimp.
Take some of hot couscous and place in the middle of plate. Add the shrimp on top and garnish with fennel fronds. Enjoy immediately!