Testing Cookbook Recipes: Jamie Oliver's Sizzling Moroccan Shrimp

I recently picked up a copy of Jamie Oliver's Everyday Superfood. Despite Jamie being one of my favorite chefs, I've never owned any of his books! Let me preface this by saying, I'm not writing a cookbook review [just yet]. I want to, but I haven't made enough recipes from this bad boy to give it a proper run through. That being said, I've made a handful over the past few weeks, and I'm nothing short of floored by it!  I consider myself a good cook, and I have quite a few go-to recipes stored up in my head. But lately I've wanted to reignite my love for cooking by stepping outside my comfort zone and trying new recipes, new preparations, new ingredients and combinations. So far, Jamie Oliver's Everyday Superfood is delivering on all fronts. 

This recipe in particular incorporates a number of ideas about food I'd really not considered. Tossing raw asparagus and zucchini into warm couscous with orange juice? I would have never thought to do it, but this recipe has transformed my thinking on eating more vegetables in their raw state. The entire cookbook is focused on making healthy choices, but so far, nothing I've made has tasted like 'diet food' at all! It's more about looking at individual ingredients differently and for their health benefits.  That's something I can get behind.

In the cookbook, the photo of his Sizzling Moroccan Shrimp looks incredible, if slightly daunting. So far, most of the entree recipes I've tried are a bit involved, and I recommend giving them a thorough read and doing some prep work before throwing yourself into a weeknight cooking session. 

This recipe says it only takes 20 minutes to make, but I'd put it at closer to 40 for a first go of it.  Next time around for me, I think I'll be able to shave off quite a few minutes, since I now understand the process and what the outcome should look and taste like. [and believe me, it tastes as good as it looks!]

The key to the dish is really in the quick marinade for the shrimp.  As much of a foodie as I like to think myself, I'm really not a fan of shell on shrimp. I know, I know, this is where ALL the flavor is, but they're just a mess to eat.  It's all good and fine if I'm at a shrimp boil, or sitting on a dock somewhere, shelling freshly cooked shrimp like a maniac. For everyday dinners at home, I can't be bothered.

Next time, I'm going to test this recipe out with already shelled shrimp and see if I can get the flavor profile to a similar place. It might fail, but it's worth trying! This recipe is so well balanced, combining hot and cold, spicy and sweet, citrus and smokey. I've never cooked a recipe focused on Moroccan flavors before, but I'm 100% converted!

Here's the part where you might get a bit miffed with me: I'm not going to post his recipe here [sorry guys!]. It's quite lengthily written, and I also feel a bit weird giving away someone else's creation.  But don't worry! My plan is to make this recipe again, but with my own personal touches to it [like removing those pesky shells!]. I'm hoping to make it in the next week or two, and I'll photograph it and post the recipe for you to try! If you want the exact recipe, I highly recommend picking up this cookbook and giving a few of the recipes a whirl [the skinny carbonara is out of this world!].