Monday, April 25, 2011

Sauteed Shrimp with Bulgur Wheat, Zucchini & Red Pepper

Sometime last month, I had the urge to bring more seafood into my life, so I thought I would make something with shrimp, one of my favorites. This is when I found this recipe.

I had never cooked anything with shrimp in it before, and for some reason I found it intimidating. To me, shrimp were those pink little morsels that could either be delicious and refreshing, like in a shrimp cocktail, or hopelessly overdone, chewy, and all-around disappointing. Taking my bag of easy-peel, de-veined, raw frozen shrimp to the checkout line felt like a big step into the unknown.

I had used bulgur wheat in bread and in tabbouleh-esque recipes before, but this seemed a bit different to me. Just bring it to a quick boil, then remove from heat, and let sit covered for a few minutes, and tah-dah! And it actually works! I just used a chopped green onion instead of the chives, and the second time around, I added a smashed garlic clove and cut back on the lemon zest a little, just because its aroma is more "pastry" than "healthy dinner," in this combination.

One important thing: The first time I made this with bulgur wheat that was apparently hulled, or pearled. I think this is the type of bulgur that this recipe was written for. Tonight, I used whole bulgur, the type I am more used to using, which has lots more fiber and a slightly chewier texture. If you're using this type you MIGHT want to partially precook your bulgur before adding it to the shrimp and veggies, because it takes more like 12-15 minutes to cook instead of about 5. My shrimp stayed tender and juicy using the original method, but precooking or even just presoaking the bulgur might be a better way to go about it.

Brady and I both liked the version with the whole bulgur MUCH more, and its just a bonus that this is the healthier version. Personally I also think its prettier than the paler pearled bulgur. Triple win!

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