This is a super speedy, protein-packed sauté that has become a weeknight favorite in our house. It was first created back in December after coming home one night famished from an evening yoga class and in need of something substantial but quick. My mom was in town and my husband was just arriving home from work. It was cold, dark, and late. So dinner needed to be ready. Five minutes ago.
You have those nights too, right? You come home tired, hungry, and you wished you had something already prepared in the fridge. But you don't, so you have to make something fast. This is your meal ticket out of trouble. Yes, this is a shrimp sauté, but to keep this plant-based or vegan you can double the chickpeas and add another bell pepper. If you feel like chopping an onion, do that so you have something to brown in place of the shrimp. This will bring out more flavor in the dish. Sometimes I'll drop in a large handful of spinach to wilt at the end too. But whatever you do, don't skip on the flavor combination of garlic, smoked paprika, sherry vinegar, and fresh cilantro. This makes the dish. This is what gave me the second burst of energy that cold, wintry night in December. And I hope it helps you out on a rushed, tired evening too.
Spanish Shrimp and Red Pepper Sauté
Notes: This meal comes together fast. So you'll want to have all ingredients prepped before you start cooking. To keep this plant-based, double the chickpeas and add another bell pepper. If you feel like chopping an onion, do that so you have something to brown in place of the shrimp. This will bring out more flavor in the dish. If I have some greens laying around, I'll drop in a large handful of spinach to wilt at the end or add arugula to individual bowls.
- Generous knob of ghee (olive or coconut oil if vegan)
- 200-250 gr. raw shrimp, shelled
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, divided
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 bell peppers, chopped (red and/or yellow , NOT green)
- 2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar (also called Jerez vinegar)
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (1-15 oz can)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Small handful fresh cilantro, chopped
- To serve: basmati or brown rice, fresh cilantro, sherry vinegar
- Melt ghee in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cook shrimp on one side, undisturbed, for 1 minute. Add garlic (I use a garlic press to press directly into pan), season with salt and pepper, 1 tsp. smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes. Use tongs to flip and cook another 1-2 minutes, or just until shrimp turn opaque and feel firm when pressed with tongs. Stir to evenly distribute seasoning, and remove shrimp onto a plate. Set aside.
- If the pan looks dry add another small knob of ghee, bell peppers. Season with salt and pepper and the remaining 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika. Stir to combine and sauté for 2 minutes over medium heat, or until crisp tender.
- Deglaze pan with vinegar (stand back so you don't get steamed!) and use a spatula to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add water, chickpeas, and return shrimp and any juices accumulated on the plate. Cover and simmer for 1 minute so flavors combine.
- Taste sauce for seasoning and stir through cilantro, reserving a little for garnish.
- Plate up with rice, more cilantro, and an extra drizzle of sherry vinegar, if desired.