Shrimp Bisque with Basil and Quinoa

Oh, boy, do I LOVE seafood bisque! This version is lighter than the heavy cream version that we are all used to, but add the quinoa and you have a very satisfying dish that will stick to your ribs, not your thighs.

I made this almost the same way that make a regular shrimp bisque, but used (of course) coconut milk fat or coconut cream instead of heavy cream. I buy the 26-30 or 31-35 count shrimp size (you can view this helpful chart, by the Grilling Guide, about what shrimp counts mean pertaining to the size of shrimp you are buying) de-veined with the shell on, so not peeled. I then use the shell to make a shrimp stock which becomes the base of the bisque/soup/sauce. This is would be best accompanied by a nice piece of toasted gluten free french bread with garlic and ghee on top.

Amount            Ingredients
1 lb                     Shrimp, peeled and de-veined, reserve shells
1/2 medium   onion, white
3 each              carrots, baby
2 each              celery, sticks
1 each              bay leaf
3 cups              water
2 Tbls               Sherry wine
2 cans              Coconut milk, chilled, separate fat but reserve both
2 Tbls              Ghee or Clarified Butter or butter substitute
1 Tbls               Garlic, minced, fresh
1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp + 1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup          Basil, thinly sliced leaves or chiffonade
1 cup               Quinoa
1/2 tsp            garlic, granulated


1. Place shrimp shells 4 quart pot with onions, carrots, celery, bay leaf and water, place pot over medium heat and allow to simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until liquid has reduced by half

2. Meanwhile, place quinoa in a 2 quart pot with lid, add the water reserved from the coconut cans plus 1 cup of water, cover pot and place over medium low heat, cook for about 15 minutes

3. Strain the shrimp stock and place back in a clean sauce pan over medium low heat. Add the sherry and cook for 2 minutes, then add the coconut fat and allow to simmer and cook down for about 10 minutes until it becomes thicker.

4. Warm ghee in saute pan over medium heat, meanwhile season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add minced garlic to pan, saute for one minute

5. Add the seasoned shrimp to the saute pan, cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, until they turn pink in color, DO NOT OVERCOOK or you’ll be serving rubber

6. When quinoa is finished, fluff with a fork and add the remaining salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Then fold in the basil, you can reserve some for garnish.

7. Time to plate or bowl….place a scoop of quinoa first, then arrange the shrimp and pour bisque on top. Garnish with basil and serve.

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