Shrimp and chorizo
This is one of those staples that we keep in rotation. The important thing here is to buy shrimp in their shells. The flavour will not be as good if you use peeled shrimp.
Shrimp (or prawns) and Chorizo
1 pd. 21 - 35 count shrimp or prawns
3 - 4TBS. olive oil
4 - 5 fresh thyme sprigs
4 - 5 cloves garlic
2 - 3 TBS tomato puree (either tube or tin)
1/2 - 2 cups good chicken stock
5 TBS cognac
1 cup whipping or heavy cream
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 large Spanish onion or 2 regular yellow1 pd. chorizo sausage (or andouille)
Old Bay seasoning (this ingredient can be omitted if you wish)
Peel shrimp and retain shells. Put shrimp in refrigerator until later.
In a large saute pan, add 2 TBS olive oil and over medium heat add shrimp shells. Saute shells until pink and then add tomato puree, cognac, and chicken stock. Slam the garlic with the side of a knife to crush, but don't worry about peeling as this will all be strained later. Add garlic and thyme sprigs. Simmer, uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes until stock has reduced somewhat.
Pour contents into a sieve, chinois or fine mesh colander pressing on the solids to extract all the juice.
Put liquid in a saucepan and discard the solids. Don't bother to wash the saute pan, you will use it again below. On a medium-low heat bring stock to a simmer and then add cream. Keep this simmering gently until reduced by approx 1/3. You are just looking to concentrate the flavours here. If you taste it think it is fine, then stop. Don't worry about the quantity of liquid you end up with.
While the sauce is simmering. Chop bell peppers into 1/2 to 3/4 inch pieces. Chop onion into regular sized dice. There are a few schools on the sausage. Some remove the casing and chop sausage into 1/2 chunks. Some leave the casings on. I guess it all depends on how fresh your sausage are or your personal preferance.
Return the saute pan to the stove and over medium-high heat add 2 TBS olive oil. When hot add the shrimp and saute til just pink. Remove shrimp to a bowl. To pan add onions and chorizo. Saute until onions are softening (not brown) and then add peppers. Once the peppers start to soften add the shrimp back and pour in the sauce. Check for salt and pepper now. I don't add it earlier because of all the reduction and the chorizo is usually a bit salty as well.
If you like Old bay seasoning and want an authentic taste, add the Old Bay. If you don't like it, leave it out.
Simmer this about 5 more minutes and then it is ready.
You can serve this over rice or with a loaf of bread on the side or all on its lonesome.