Sunchoke Shrimp Scampi

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In case you hadn’t noticed, its the season for getting fresh seafood at great prices.  It seems like every restaurant advertisement has some kind of seafood special.  Well I’d like a piece of that action…a big yummy bite of it actually. This tasty and healthy shrimp scampi switch up has all the classic must haves of a shrimp scampi recipe, but with a fun twist.  Jerusalem artichokes, also known as sunchokes are a strange looking vegetable that resemble a ginger root, but when boiled and mashed have more the consistency of mashed potatoes.  It may be new and different, but don’t worry these funny little veggies add something extra special to this meal.

8-10 sunchokes
1/2 can coconut milk
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 lb. fresh green beans
1- 1 1/2 cups assorted bell peppers, sliced (if frozen, thaw and pat dry)
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
12- 16 oz. medium raw shrimp, peeled and devained
2-3 tbsp cornstarch + 1/2-1 cup extra broth

Chop sunchokes into 1 inch cubes, you can leave the peels on (I did) or remove them with a peeler if you like.  Bring a pot of salted water to boil.  Add sunchokes and allow to boil until fork tender.  Drain water.  I put my sunchokes straight into my food processor with the coconut milk and some salt and pepper.  Puree until smooth.  Meanwhile heat a large skillet with coconut oil.  Add garlic, green beans and peppers.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add broth to the hot skillet, blanching the veggies.  Don’t over do it on the veggies you want their colors bright and still crisp on the inside. Remove from skillet to a bowl, cover and set aside. Now plop in your shrimp.  Squeeze in the lemon juice over top.  Allow shrimp to cook 2-3 minutes per side until they are a pinkish white.  Remove shrimp when done.  Mix cornstarch with extra broth until it dissolves, pour into the skillet along with the heated broth and bring to a boil until thickened.

Assemble your scampi by placing a nice pile of sunchoke mash into a bowl, followed by blanched veggies, shrimp and a healthy drizzle of the thickened broth.  So yummy and so good for you too!

*To be honest this was my first time cooking with Jerusalem artichokes, but I promise it won’t be the last 🙂  Here’s what I’ve learned about my new funny little friend the sunchoke:
 “Sunchokes are very rich in inulin, a carbohydrate linked with good intestinal health due to its prebiotic (bacteria promoting) properties. Sunchokes also contain vitamin C, phosphorus and potassium and are a very good source of iron. Like potatoes, sunchoke can be served with or without the skin – scrub clean and leave it on for maximum nutritional benefit.  Cook as you would potatoes – roast, sauté, bake, boil or steam. If peeling or cutting, drop pieces into water with a squeeze of lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Unlike potatoes, sunchokes can also be used raw (e.g. in salads) or lightly stir-fried.
 http://www.eattheseasons.com/Archive/sunchoke.htm


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