Daily Archives: September 20, 2009

Sage-pancetta wrapped shrimp

North Carolina's finest

North Carolina's finest

I’m finally starting to really love North Carolina. I think it’s because we’ve found all the cute local hangouts that remind us of the boutiques in Bend or Portland’s NW 23rd.

On Saturday, we went to a little Bohemian coffee shop called Kranky’s, then bought a loaf of bread at the rustic French bakery in a brick building covered with flowers. Then we went to the market for dinner…

When I lived in the High Desert, I never felt like I had the luxury of going to the grocery store and shopping for “whatever’s fresh.” I suppose I never felt that anything in the desert was THAT fresh.

Travel where the vegetation gets green and you have that luxury. This weekend, we saw some of the most beautiful prawns at Fresh Market, never frozen. “North Carolina 18-20 count shrimp, $8.99/pound” the sign said. We bought almost two pounds and they took a surprisingly little amount of time to peel and de-vein, simply because they were so big and meaty.

I wrapped each shrimp with one sage leaf, then sprinkled them with grill seasoning (optional) and then a thin slice of pancetta. Jesse helped by securing the shrimp with toothpicks. Then, I seared them in a little olive oil on a nonstick skillet.

The pancetta will crisp up and add a smokiness to the shrimp. The sage will perfume each bite. They were really amazing. But be careful with the salt – you don’t need much. These would be an amazing appetizer, and of course you could use bacon instead of pancetta.

On the side, we had my favorite couscous (toasted pine nuts, golden raisins, scallions, parsley) and that artisan bread made with cheese and green onions (hello? amazing.).

The two of us couldn’t even eat a dozen of the shrimp, so there will be plenty more for tonight’s dinner. We may serve them over a salad or a simple bed of greens.

Next time you see really beautiful, big fresh (not frozen) shrimp, I encourage you to try this amazing and chic dish. Enjoy, friends! xoxo