We don’t tend to associate seafood with the Midwest, yet fresh saltwater shrimp are being farmed all across our state. These shrimp farmers are aiming to provide a fresher and more sustainable product than what’s imported from overseas or shipped from the coasts.
In Missouri alone, shrimp farms include Kansas City Shrimp Co. in the Kansas City area, Triple J Farms in Foristell and Circle Sea Shrimp Farm in Stella. Such farms raise shrimp in artificial saltwater environments that mimic their natural habitat. Make the most of high-quality local shrimp this summer with a version of garides Tourkolimano, a stew named for a port town on the northeast coast of Greece.
The stew is typically served as part of a larger mezze, or collection of small plates, and enjoyed with a glass of wine. It gets much of its flavor from garlic, tomatoes, Feta and fresh herbs; I’ve amended it here to act more as a side dish and added Peppadew peppers and sherry vinegar. The rest of the dish features subtle heat from the peppers, creaminess from the Feta, a pop of acid from the sherry vinegar and bright, herbal flavor from fresh mint – pile on the mint and thank me later.
I prefer buying heirloom tomatoes, as they tend to be sweeter and come in a variety of beautiful colors.
In a large skillet with a lid over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add fennel, onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes, until a little caramelization develops on fennel and onion. Add wine, tomatoes and Peppadew peppers and stir to deglaze skillet. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 5 to 8 minutes more. Add honey, sherry vinegar and oregano and stir to combine; simmer for 1 to 2 minutes more. Cover and keep warm over low heat.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Add shrimp and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until shrimp are pink throughout, approximately 5 minutes.
Add shrimp to warm tomato-pepper mixture and stir to combine. Divide between 4 to 6 serving bowls and garnish with chopped mint, Feta and olive oil to taste. Serve warm.