Recipe: Stretch Shrimp with Affordable White Beans in This Savory Skillet Dinner

For 4 people

Everyone’s trying to stretch a dollar as far as it can go these days (not very far!), and that often means turning to a reliable, inexpensive source of protein like beans. In this skillet, the beans stretch a pound of shrimp — buy the cheapest medium size — into a dinner for four. Dried beans are the cheapest form of beans, but canned, called here, is still an economical and, of course, much faster option. To replace the two cans of dried beans in this recipe, cook about 8 ounces (1 cup) of dried cannellini or other white beans according to package directions. Small prawns cost less than jumbos because large ones take longer to grow, and there is more demand for them. Wild-caught shrimp, regardless of size, are always more expensive than farmed ones. Medium shrimp, thawed if purchased frozen, is the best choice here as their size pairs well with the beans. The dish is loaded with flavor from a tomato sofrito, a concentrated base that brings out the brine shrimp and earthy beans. Start with the onion, garlic and thyme to season the chopped plum tomatoes and cook them into a thick paste. Then, when the beans and shrimp have simmered with the sofrito, add more fresh tomatoes with lemon juice and parsley to liven up the dish. This simple one-pan dinner is a snap, easy on the wallet, and still stylish—wins we can all use right now.

3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
3 plum tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained
1 cup of water
1 butter
Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Working in batches, if necessary, add shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until shrimp are pink on one side and just beginning to brown. Transfer to a plate.

2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the onion softens. Add garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, 1 minute more.

3. Add half the tomatoes. Cook, stirring often, breaking up the tomatoes with a kitchen spoon, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture forms a thick paste.

4. Add beans and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

5. Add the remaining shrimp and tomatoes to the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until shrimp are cooked through. Remove skillet from heat.

6. Stir in the butter, lemon zest and juice, half the parsley and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the remaining parsley.

Karoline Boehm Goodnick

For 4 people

Everyone’s trying to stretch a dollar as far as it can go these days (not very far!), and that often means turning to a reliable, inexpensive source of protein like beans. In this skillet, the beans stretch a pound of shrimp — buy the cheapest medium size — into a dinner for four. Dried beans are the cheapest form of beans, but canned, called here, is still an economical and, of course, much faster option. To replace the two cans of dried beans in this recipe, cook about 8 ounces (1 cup) of dried cannellini or other white beans according to package directions. Small prawns cost less than jumbos because large ones take longer to grow, and there is more demand for them. Wild-caught shrimp, regardless of size, are always more expensive than farmed ones. Medium shrimp, thawed if purchased frozen, is the best choice here as their size pairs well with the beans. The dish is loaded with flavor from a tomato sofrito, a concentrated base that brings out the brine shrimp and earthy beans. Start with the onion, garlic and thyme to season the chopped plum tomatoes and cook them into a thick paste. Then, when the beans and shrimp have simmered with the sofrito, add more fresh tomatoes with lemon juice and parsley to liven up the dish. This simple one-pan dinner is a snap, easy on the wallet, and still stylish—wins we can all use right now.

3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
3 plum tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
2 cans (15 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained
1 cup of water
1 butter
Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Working in batches, if necessary, add shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until shrimp are pink on one side and just beginning to brown. Transfer to a plate.

2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the onion softens. Add garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, 1 minute more.

3. Add half the tomatoes. Cook, stirring often, breaking up the tomatoes with a kitchen spoon, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture forms a thick paste.

4. Add beans and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

5. Add the remaining shrimp and tomatoes to the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until shrimp are cooked through. Remove skillet from heat.

6. Stir in the butter, lemon zest and juice, half the parsley and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the remaining parsley.Karoline Boehm Goodnick

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