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Sauteed shrimp Casa Pepe (pil pil)

November 16, 2011
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Serves 4

Paula Wolfert writes in “The Food of Morocco’’ that she encountered this recipe at Casa Pepe, a favorite seaside restaurant near Tangier. She recommends using piment d’Espelette, a floral, mild ground pepper.

 Generous pinch saffron threads 

1 tablespoon boiling water 

1  pound peeled medium-large shrimp (24 to 36), deveined 

1/2  teaspoon cumin seeds 

4  cloves garlic 

1/2  teaspoon salt 

1/4  teaspoon piment d’Espelette, or other mildly hot red pepper 

1/3  cup olive oil 

2  cups peeled, seeded, and chopped fresh or canned tomatoes 

2  tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 

1 1/2  tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 

1. In a small, heavy skillet, warm the saffron gently until dry and crumbly. Crumble into a small bowl and pour in the boiling water; set aside.

2. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels.

3. In a mortar, crush the cumin seeds, garlic, and salt. Add the red pepper and saffron water. Stir until smooth.

4. In a large skillet over high heat, heat the olive oil. Cook the tomatoes with the garlic-spice mixture, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring for 4 minutes or until they are firm and curled.

5. Sprinkle with the parsley and cilantro. Serve with soft bread.

Adapted from “The Food of Morocco’’

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