Shrimp in Northern Court Bouillon
I flew home from Anchorage the day before yesterday, sad to be going and in a dismal mood. My gate was next to an airport bar so I decided to see why people were always getting drunk before flights. Alaskan hospitality workers must be better paid than elsewhere, because they have been the most helpful lot I’ve encountered. “Hey there, what can I get you?” the pretty lady charmed.
Dos Equis, in a cold glass, with an overpriced lunch of boiled shrimp. Earlier in my travels, I’d bought the infamous vampire novel Twilight and finished it as I drank my first beer. Before ordering another drink, I pulled out the next in my summer reading series and felt more optimistic about its value. I’d tried to buy New Moon, Stephenie Meyer’s next book in the series, but not finding it in airport bookstores, had to compromise and buy Cormac McCarthy’s Outer Dark because I’d been meaning to read it and because it starts with an eclipse. It seemed fitting somehow.
The shrimp showed up, chilled and covered in some briny liquid, having been steeped in a strange and resinous brew. Best shrimp ever. Beer before flying is highly recommended.
Shrimp in Northern Court Bouillon:
1 pound raw shrimp
1 gallon cold water
1 Tbsp rubbed thyme
8 bay leaves
1/2 Tbsp whole cloves
1/2 Tbsp fennel seeds
5 garlic cloves
1 onion, pared
4 celery stalks
1 block vegetable bouillon
Bring the water to a boil and add the fennel seeds, bay leaves and cloves. Lower heat and let simmer for 20 minutes or so. Add the rest of the seasonings and let simmer another 20 minutes. Bring to a low boil and add the shrimp, cooking until pink and coiled. Strain and serve immediately.