Shrimp Perloo

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In May, as in all months, we celebrate and honor many things. Some national days are very interesting, such as National Lost Sock Memorial Day on May 9 and National Dance Like a Chicken Day on May 14.

To celebrate National Shrimp Day (May 10), this month’s recipe is a flavorful shrimp dish. This one-pot dish, Shrimp Perloo, also called Perlaw or Purlieu, is a southern Lowcountry staple with roots in West Africa.

Be sure to use medium-sized shrimp, as they are stirred into the pot at the end of the recipe with the heat from the rice mixture cooking the shrimp. If you do not want to use shrimp, chicken, sausage, other seafood and vegetables can be substituted.

  • 4 thick-cut bacon slices, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped sweet onion (from 1 large onion)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery (about 2 large stalks)
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper (from 1 medium bell pepper)
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic (4 to 6 large cloves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
    *2(14.5 oz.) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained well
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 7 cups seafood stock (you can substitute chicken stock)
  • 3 cups uncooked basmati rice
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  1. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium, stirring often until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the bacon drippings in Dutch oven.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high. Add onion, celery, and bell pepper to Dutch oven; cook, stirring often, until vegetables soften but haven’t begun to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of the salt; cook, stirring often until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine, stirring and scraping to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet. Add tomatoes and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring often until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Stir in stock, rice, and butter; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook until rice is just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat. Working quickly, gently stir in shrimp; cover and let stand until shrimp are cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Top servings evenly with parsley and bacon.

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