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Farmed shrimp can be an unhealthy choice, thanks to the fungicides, pesticides, and antibiotics that are too often used to treat them in the developing world. A great alternative is wild-caught northern shrimp, pink shrimp, and spot prawns from Canada and northern U.S. waters. The following recipe, provided by Katherine Czapp of Ann Arbor, calls for the small and tasty Maine shrimp (Pandalus borealis) from the Gulf of Maine. It is also sold as coldwater or northern shrimp.
Shrimp and Vegetables with Champagne
(Rather than Champagne, I actually prefer a Blanquette de Limoux, notable for predating Champagne by about 150 years as the first sparkling wine developed by Benedictine monks at Saint Hilaire in 1531. The wine is delicious and moderately priced. Of course, serve the remainder of the bottle with the shrimp!)
Peel 1 1/4 pounds of fresh medium or large Gulf shrimp. In a saucepan melt 1 tablespoon of butter and sauté 1 cup each of thinly sliced carrots, onions, leeks and celery. Add 2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried), a bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, covered, for 5-10 minutes. Add 1 1/4 cups homemade fish broth (preferably broth made with shrimp shells) and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes or so to reduce the liquid. Add 4 tablespoons minced shallots and one cup of Champagne and reduce liquid by half over high heat. Add 4 tablespoons very thick raw cream and stir to blend thoroughly. Add peeled shrimp and stir over high heat for about 1 1/2 minutes, or until all shrimp are pink and just cooked. Taste and add salt if needed. Serve immediately as an elegant first course.
—reproduced with permission of the Weston A. Price Foundation.