Laurie Wood's Autumn Shrimp with Kale and Fall Veggie Couscous

  • Laurie Wood's Autumn Shrimp with Kale and Fall Veggie Couscous.

    Laurie Wood's Autumn Shrimp with Kale and Fall Veggie Couscous. Courtesy of Laurie Wood

 
Updated 10/28/2020 6:32 AM

Laurie Wood's Autumn Shrimp with Kale and Fall Veggie Couscous

For the Fall Spice Mix

 

3 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 tablespoon lemon pepper

3 teaspoons paprika

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg; freshly ground if possible

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

For the Autumn Shrimp

1 to 1½ pounds of (20-25 per pound) shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil for marinade (plus more for cooking)

1/3 amount of the prepared fall spice mix

Red pepper flakes, to taste

1 small lemon, zest and juice

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

For the Fall Veggie Couscous

1 medium acorn squash

1 small butternut squash

1 pumpkin pie pumpkin

¼ to ½ pound (2 to 3 cups) uncooked kale leaves

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil for marinade (plus more for cooking)

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1 teaspoon of the prepared fall spice mix

1 medium onion, medium-sized dice

1 box Near East Pearled Couscous mix with Roasted Garlic and Olive Oil

3 resh rosemary sprigs

1 small lemon, zest and juice

Red pepper flakes, to taste

1 cup dried cranberries for serving

Roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for serving

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to taste for serving

For the secret ingredient bread crumbs

1 can of King Oscar Mackerel in olive oil and lemon

1 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon paprika

In medium-sized bowl, mix all the ingredients in the Fall Spice Mix. Reserve 1 teaspoon of mix to use in couscous preparation.

Place shrimp into a 1-gallon freezer bag. Add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and 1/3 of prepared fall spice mix. Shake until shrimp is completely coated with spice mix.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Cut acorn squash in half. With a spoon, scrape out and discard pulp and seeds. Place squash cut side down onto cutting board and using a serrated knife, cut 6 to 8, 1-inch thick, half moon-shaped slices.

Peel outside skin of butternut squash and pumpkin with potato peeler. Slice each in half and with a spoon, scrape out and discard pulp and seeds. Cut into 1-inch cubes. Place acorn and butternut squashes and pumpkin into 1-gallon freezer bag. Add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and 1/3 of the prepared spice mix and mix carefully to make sure all veggies are evenly coated with spice mix.

Thoroughly wash and dry kale. Hold onto the stem and pull the leafy greens off it. Medium chop leafy greens and place in a separate 1-gallon freezer bag. Add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and remaining 1/3 of the prepared fall spice mix to the bag, shaking to make sure kale is evenly coated.

Refrigerate the three prepared bags for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Let's Cook This Dish: Preheat oven for 400 degrees (or 350 if you have a convection roasting setting on your oven).

Make the Secret Ingredient bread crumbs. Using a hand strainer, rinse a ½ can of mackerel and then thoroughly dry fish with kitchen towel. In medium bowl, mix mackerel, panko bread crumbs, oregano and paprika. Make sure mackerel is evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Place mixture in a single layer on a sheet pan.

Pour squash/pumpkin and marinade onto a second sheet pan, making sure they form a single layer. Top with randomly placed sliced onion and 3 rosemary sprigs. Lightly drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and add red pepper flakes to taste.

Pour the shrimp and marinade onto ½ of a third sheet pan in a single layer. On the other ½ of the pan, evenly place kale and marinade. Lightly drizzle entire pan with extra-virgin olive oil and add red pepper flakes to taste.

You should now have 3 prepared sheet pans of food.

When the oven is preheated, put veggie pan on the top rack of the oven and cook for 10 minutes.

As soon as the veggies go into the oven, prepare the couscous according to package directions, adding the reserved 1 teaspoon of Fall Spice Mix to the water.

When the veggies have cooked for 10 minutes, add the shrimp sheet pan to the oven on a lower rack. Cook both sheet pans for about 10 minutes more or until the shrimp is pink and the veggies are lightly browned and tender. Remove from oven. (Sheet pan can be removed individually and set aside if one is cooked before the other. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.)

Once the veggies and shrimp are cooked, place breadcrumb sheet pan in the oven and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown. The bread crumbs can burn very easily so keep a watchful eye on them. Immediately remove bread crumbs from pan and put in small dish to stop cooking process.

Discard rosemary sprigs from veggie pan. Sprinkle lemon zest and juice onto the veggie and shrimp pans.

In a large heat-safe bowl, mix cooked couscous with the roasted kale, butternut squash, pumpkin, and onions as well as dried cranberries. Gently stir, being careful not to break up the veggies.

To plate: Place 1 or 2 acorn squash slices onto plate and top with veggie couscous mixture. Garnish with pepitas. Place 6 to 8 shrimp to the side of the couscous and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Add freshly grated Parmesan cheese to the plate, if desired.

Cook's notes: Cranberries, pepitas and bread crumbs can be served on the side in individual bowls to accommodate everyone's tastes.

Check out your local grocery store or farmers market to find different seasonal squash to use. Make sure they are firm enough to hold up to the high cooking heat and not become mushy when cooked.

I have used the bottom part of a broiler pan without the grate in place of a half sheet pan. Any large, shallow-sided, heavy metal pan can be used for cooking.

Roasted pepitas and dried cranberries can usually be found in the produce department at the grocery store.

Serves 4 to 6

-- Laurie Wood

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