Jumbo Prawns & Balsamic-Orange Onions
The arrival of the first sweet onions of the season is an event to be celebrated, and this dish does just that. The onions are slow-cooked in the oven--which brings out even more sweetness--and then combined with both orange zest and juice, plus some balsamic vinegar to balance the flavors. Jumbo shrimp are added here, but sweet scallops would be delicious as well.
Note: Shrimp is usually sold by the number needed to make one pound. For example, “21-25 count” means there will be 21 to 25 shrimp in a pound. Size names, such as “large” or “extra large,” are not standardized, so to be sure you're getting the size you want, order by the count (or number) per pound.
Both wild-caught and farm-raised shrimp can damage the surrounding ecosystems when not managed properly. Fortunately, it is possible to buy shrimp that have been raised or caught with sound environmental practices. Look for fresh or frozen shrimp certified by an independent agency, such as Wild American Shrimp or Marine Stewardship Council. If you can't find certified shrimp, choose wild-caught shrimp from North America--it's more likely to be sustainably caught.
To peel shrimp, grasp the legs and hold onto the tail while you twist off the shell. Save the shells to make a tasty stock: Simmer, in enough water to cover, for 10 minutes, then strain. The “vein” running along a shrimp's back (technically the dorsal surface, opposite the legs) under a thin layer of flesh is really its digestive tract.
To devein, use a paring knife to make a slit along the length of the shrimp. Under running water, remove the tract with the knife tip.
2 vegetable, 4 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat