Monday, March 10, 2008

CSA week 15 - shrimp and turnips in bagna couda-ish sauce

I wanted to revisit the radish and whitefish recipe I made last month and try a variation. Replacing the radishes with turnips was, I think, a step down. The radishes had a sweet complexity of flavor that the turnips couldn't match. I added some cherry tomatoes to compensate and I think that helped.

I also used shrimp instead of the basa I used last time. The fish did fine on its own before, but the shrimp works best dredged in the sauce. If I had been sure how long everything was going to take to cook I would have mixed them in. I played it safe by laying them down on top; that let me take them out after 8 minutes and put the turnips back in for another ten. I'll fix that in the recipe.

3 small to medium turnips, in 1/2 inch slices
the top of one spring onion, sliced into thin rounds
1 handful parsley chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved
2 teaspoons butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon capers
2 anchovies, minced
8 large shrimp, cleaned in shell
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used a Louis Latour 2004 Pouilly Fuisse which, while lovely, is sweeter than I would have preferred for this dish)

1. Brine shrimp in salt and sugar solution for at least a half hour
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
3. Mix turnips with parsley, garlic, capers, anchovies, butter, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste
4. Roast (or bake? What's the difference exactly? Or am I frying because of all the fat?) for 20 minutes.
5. Stir in shrimp, tomatoes and wine
6. Roast for 8 minutes more.

For a nice presentation (I've been watching Top Chef recently and have decided that I need to work on my presentation. That doesn't change my earlier decision that I need to eat more offal. You'll be seeing some nicely presented offal over the coming weeks on this blog.) lay out the turnips in a layer on a plate, arrange shrimp on top, pile the rest of the solid bits in the center and pour the sauce over top. Preferably more neatly than I did here, but by this point I had polished off a fair bit of that bottle of Pouilly Fuisse.

As for the taste, you can't go wrong with shrimp in a butter, olive oil and white wine and the anchovies and capers give it a nice extra dimension. However, I can't say it marries all that well with the turnips. I suspect a hearty whitefish or scallops would do well. Or radishes with the shrimp. Next time either turnips or radishes show up in the share, I'll find out.

No comments: