WRITTEN ON June 4th, 2009 BY Meredith AND STORED IN Chick peas, Dinner, Fish and Shellfish

I love shrimp, but I’m always looking for a way to spice them up a bit.  Hailing from Baltimore, I grew up with peel and eat shrimp that were spicy from the gallons of Old Bay they’d been cooked in (those of us with origins in the Chesapeake area would likely bleed Old Bay.  It goes with everything.  Seriously.  Try it on popcorn or rim your Bloody Mary glass with it.  See?  I told you).  Shrimp cocktail has always seemed kind of, well, blah.  Which is why I love these chorizo-stuffed shrimp.  They’re super flavorful and have a nice kick from the spicy sausage, but they’re much less messy than the peel and eat variety.  I paired them with a fregula and chick pea salad to round out the meal.  If you haven’t tried fregula, I urge you to check out it.  Similar in size and texture to Israeli couscous, it’s a small pasta (from Sardinia) that’s been toasted, so it’s really nutty.  They say like attracts like…must explain my fondness for it.

Who you callin' shrimp?

Who you callin' shrimp?

Chorizo Grilled Shrimp with Fregula and Chick Pea Salad (serves 4)
¾ lb large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 small chorizo sausage, cured (not fresh), diced
1 tsp hot paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Insert 1 cube chorizo into the curve of each shrimp, skewer with toothpick.  Repeat with all the shrimp.  Mix the seasonings together, toss with shrimp to coat.  Cook on hot grill or grill pan for about 2 minutes per side, until pink and cooked through.
Parsley Oil
¼ cup olive oil
1 small handful parsley
½ tsp salt
Puree parsley in a food processor while slowly adding oil.  Season with salt.
Fregula and Chick Pea Salad
½ lb fregula, cooked according to package instructions
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
½ large zucchini, cubed
1 large handful each mint and parsley, chopped
3 scallions, thinly sliced
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Toss all ingredients together, season to taste.  Serve topped with 3 shrimp and drizzled with parsley oil.

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