- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Seafood and meat are a flavorful combination. One complements the other, delivering both subtle and robust flavors in every bite.

This mixture of tastes and textures might seem natural to many ethnic dishes. However, traditional ethnic cooking is usually based on the local harvest.

Coastal people often rely on seafood and inland inhabitants turn to beef, chicken or pork as their mainstay. Louisiana, which is fortunate to have an abundance of seafood and a tradition of sausage making, is one obvious exception, which can be sampled in a delicious shrimp and sausage gumbo or jambalaya with chicken, sausage and seafood.

Fortunately, regional availability no longer limits our recipes. The only caveat when cooking meat and seafood together is to combine foods with like cooking times so one ingredient doesn’t disintegrate while the other cooks to a tender state.

In the following recipe, bulk Italian sausage is simmered with shrimp and piquant tomatillos and topped with cilantro. The taste may be reminiscent of a South American stew, but the food is as accessible as your local supermarket.

Sausage and shrimp stew

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 4-ounce link raw hot Italian sausage

2 tomatillos

cup chicken broth

1 medium new potato, unpeeled, diced

8 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon minced cilantro

Lime wedges, optional

Heat oil in medium saute pan. Add onion and garlic and saute 3 minutes or until tender. Remove sausage casing. Form meat into -inch balls and brown in pan. Remove and discard husks from tomatillos.

Core and dice tomatillos. Add to pan and saute 1 minute. Add broth and diced potato. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Stir in shrimp.

Cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, or until potato is tender and shrimp is cooked through. Stir in lime juice, salt and pepper to taste and cilantro. To serve, pour into 2 shallow soup bowls and garnish with lime wedges, if desired.

Makes 2 servings.


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