Braden Family Cookbook

Chuck Braden

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SHRIMP AND GARBANZO BEANS IN RAGOUT            Central American 

6 servings . . .a little work but WOW!!! 

˝ cup + 3 TBSP. good olive oil
2 pounds large shrimp, shell on, (about 18 - 20 to the pound), shelled and deveined
1 medium tomato, halved, plus 3 medium tomatoes- peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 small yellow onion, halved + 1 large onion minced
1 bay leaf
5 whole white peppercorns
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 TBSP. + a few drops of fresh lemon juice
2 TBSP. finely grated orange zest
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of coarse salt (kosher of coarse!)
Pinch of ground ginger
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp.. Crushed whole dried chiles
3 fresh mint sprigs, minced, + ˝ cup mint leaves
3 TBSP. cider vinegar
2 cans (19 oz. each) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
˝ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
˝ cup coriander (cilantro) leaves

In a large non reactive saucepan, heat 1 TBSP. of the olive oil over high heat.  Add the reserved shrimp shells (O.K. there is still time to take them out of the rubbish if you didn’t save them as advised in the ingredient list above) and cook, stirring, until pink and aromatic, about 3 minutes.  Add the halved tomato and onion and continue to cook until the onion begins to brown, about 4 minutes.

Add enough water to the pan to cover the shrimp shells (about 5 cups).  Stir in the bay leaf, white peppercorns and crushed red pepper and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes until broth is very fragrant (smells nice and strong).  Strain this mixture through a fine sieve into another sauce pan and reduce this mixture to 2 cups, about 15 minutes.  Set this aside.                                                        

In a large bowl, whisk 3 TBSP. olive oil with 1 TBSP. of the lemon juice, 1 TBSP. of the orange zest, the ground white pepper, salt and ginger.  Add the shrimp and toss well.  Marinate this mixture in the refrigerator at least one hour and for not more that 4 hours.  Caution: after 4 hours of marination, shrimp will turn into escargot!  Now you know where escargot really comes from! 

In a large non reactive saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil and add the minced onion and garlic.  Cook for about 8 minutes until the onion is translucent.  Stir in the crushed chiles, minced mint, and the remaining 1 TBSP. orange zest.  Increase the heat to high, add the chopped tomatoes, reserved shrimp stock and 2 TBSP. of the cider vinegar and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce reduces to about 3 ˝ cups, about 20 minutes.

Hint:     when reducing liquid down to a certain quantity, pour in equivalent amount of water into the pan you will be using and use a chopstick or other implement to measure how far down the pot the liquid has to go to be reduced to the amount you want.  Martha Stewart begged me for this technique and I told her to figure it out for herself!  She did and it is my understanding that this is what allowed her to make her first $ million. 

Add the garbanzo beans to the sauce and continue simmering until the beans have absorbed its flavor, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the remaining 1 TBSP. cider vinegar and 1 TBSP. of the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from the heat, cover and set aside. 

Hint:     you can prepare the recipe to this point and then refrigerate it until the next day.  Let cool, cover and refrigerate. 

In a large skillet heat 2 TSP. Of olive oil over moderate heat until just smoking.  Drain the shrimp and add half to the pan.  Cook, turning once, until pink, about one minute per side.  As the shrimp cook, add them to the bean ragout (which, you have gently warmed if it was made the day before and refrigerated).  Repeat with the remaining shrimp adding mor oil if needed.  Keep the bean and shrimp mixture warm. 

In a bowl, toss the ˝ cup mint, parsley and coriander.  Add the remaining 1 TBSP. olive oil, a few drops of lemon juice, salt and ground black pepper to taste.  Ladle the ragout into 6 heated shallow serving bowls and garnish each serving with a some of the herb “salad.”  Serve immediately.   

Serve with a full Chardonnay.  Good crusty bread is a must.