There are so many things that make me excited to share this post. Where do I begin? First, I love that this meal comes together in less than 25 minutes. Seems hard to believe, right? ‘Cuz it looks so peertty! But truly, the prosciutto-wrapped shrimp get dipped, wrapped and baked all in about 20 minutes while the “lazy” risotto-style couscous simmers and is done in less than 15. Boom! Dinner!
Secondly, the versatility. I happen to have created a full meal out of this prosciutto-wrapped shrimp, but they would be an AH.MAZING party hors d’oeuvre all on their own. Consider making them if you are entertaining or taking a dish to pass anytime soon. (And, I mean, who isn’t, really?)
Thirdly, pearl couscous. One of my all time favorite side dishes. “Why? It’s so simple!”, you say. Well, yeah, it’s so simple and it cooks in ten minutes. I mean, what more can you ask for of any ingredient? I’m calling it “Lazy Risotto-Style Couscous” because at the end, I stir in some frozen peas then finish with a pat of butter and grated Parmesan cheese, just like you would with Risotto but without all the waiting and stirring.
Last but definitely not least….the apricot-mustard sauce. You can’t totally tell by the pictures, but the shrimp are dipped in this quick sauce before getting wrapped with prosciutto. This adds a layer of tangy sweetness which goes oh-so-well with the salty prosciutto.
These also happen to be three ingredients I ALWAYS have on hand – apricot jam, rice wine vinegar and whole grain mustard. If I’m honest, I’ve been utilizing this simple sauce quite a lot these days. In fact, stay tuned because I’m finalizing another recipe to be shared soon that will use this same sauce in a totally different way. Isn’t that the real goal of a good pantry anyway? To collect our favorite ingredients that we can learn to use in different ways so they don’t get boring or mundane but instead help keep cooking interesting? I think so!
Speaking of a good pantry, I think that’s really the main reason I love this dish so much. Aside from the prosciutto, this entire meal is constructed from ingredients I nearly always have on hand. Because shrimp and peas are both ingredients that hold up well to freezing, I buy them when they are at a good price and stock up. As for the Parmesan cheese and butter I use to finish the couscous, yep….always in my fridge. I almost always have fresh parsley, too. So other than making a quick stop for a few slices of prosciutto, this dinner is straight from the pantry. That makes me happy!
The more I share on my blog here, the more I will offer tips for keeping a well-stocked pantry. After all, that’s what makes the biggest difference between an easy mealtime and a stressful mealtime. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this plate of food as much as I do!
Prosciutto-wrapped shrimp are delightfully easy and cook so quickly. Make these on their own for a party hors d’Oeuvre or pair them with my “lazy” risotto-style pearl couscous and enjoy them as a full meal.
For the shrimp:
1/4 cup apricot jam
4 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
20 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (U10-13)
10 slices prosciutto
Kosher salt and black pepper
For the pearl couscous:
1 3/4 cup water
1 1/2 cup pearl couscous, aka Israeli couscous
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped – optional
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Prepare a sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together apricot jam, whole grain mustard and rice wine vinegar until well combined. Scoop out 2 tablespoons and set aside.
Trim prosciutto slices in half lengthwise. Lay out flat on a cutting board.
Pat shrimp dry. Season with salt and pepper. Dip one shrimp into the apricot mixture and coat evenly. Place at the end of one slice of prosciutto then roll the shrimp up, or wrap the piece of prosciutto around the shrimp. Set on the prepared sheet tray and repeat until all shrimp is wrapped. Arrange shrimp so they are not touching each other.
Measure water into a small saucepan. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir in the pearl couscous and a pinch of salt. Cover pot and lower heat to simmer. Cook for 8 minutes.
Set the tray in the preheated oven and bake for 6-9 minutes until shrimp are bright pink.
After the couscous has cooked for 8 minutes, stir in the green peas. Set lid on pot again and cook another 2 minutes until liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender.
Remove couscous from heat. Stir in butter, Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley, if using. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Once the shrimp are out of the oven, use the 2 tablespoons of apricot mustard that you set aside earlier to brush the hot shrimp with more sauce.
Scoop some of the pearl couscous onto each dinner plate and top with 4-5 prosciutto-wrapped shrimp.