Growing up in two families full of seafood enthusiasts had a lot of advantages, particularly when cooking is involved. My father, a force to be reckoned with wherever an open fire is lit, taught me how to peel and devein shrimp, how to blend marinades and other little tid-bits. He believing in one-pot cooking and I, as such became his disciple. My Express Paella was my first forray beyond Melvin’s pre-established borders.

It all went down in Atlanta during my junior year at Morehouse. My roommate Rob and I had arranged to siphon off of the public dough via food stamps and thus had a little more grocery money than most of our peers. Shrimp and lobster became affordable luxuries, especially as fewer and fewer girls were eating much protein beyond fish. My dear friend Tahra Chatard hung with us quite a bit. She was over to the crib on this particular day. I happened to have thawed shrimp, some black beans, and a gang of curry in the cabin so I gave this as whirl.

If a romantic interest gets this from me it means I hope she’s going to be around for awhile. If it’s a friend it’s symbol of true trust.

Ingredients:

1 bulb of garlic
Scallions
Yellow Onion
1 beefstake tomato
I green pepper
Jamaican curry powder
1 pound of Large (preferably Tiger) Shrimp
1 can of black beans
1 bunch of kale

Peel and devein shrimp.
Rub the peeled shrimp with coarse sea salt and black pepper. Squeeze lime juice over each piece. Place the shrimp in the fridge to marinade.

Take the shells and put them in a pot with five cups of water and bring it to a boil. In 30 minutes you will have four cups of shrimp stock, a crucial element in this dish and something that’s nice to add to any seafood item that you’re grilling and sauteeing. Take the completed stock off the stove and pour it into a separate contain to cool.If you’re pressed for time you can just buy a can or two of fish or seafood brother and call it a day.

Pull your kale off the stems and soak it in cold water (to be rinsed twice before use)

Break the bulb of garlic into thirds. Crush and chop the entire bulb and separate it into thirds.

Add one third to your container of stock. Add the second third to a large skillet with 1/4 cup of olive oil.

Chop and dice the tomato, onions and green peppers

Our four cups of the shrimp stock and garlic to a large pan. Add five tablespoons of Jamaican curry powder, four teaspoons of honey, 2 tbsps of seas salt and a dash of olive oil. Stir the stock into one thorough consistency put a high flame under it.

When the mixture comes to a boil, add two cups of parboiled rice, lower the flame and all it to simmer for 20 minutes or until the stock cooks out of the pot.

Put a medium heat under the skillet along with 1 tbsp of butter. Add your shrimp, onions, peppers and tomatoes and cover for ten minutes, flipping and shaking the pan regular for even cooking.

Empty the can of black beans into a small pot with 1 tsp of sea salt and 1 tsp of garlic powder. Stir until it comes to a boil, kill the flame.

Kill the flame on the the skillet of shrimp and cover.

Kill the flame on the rice (when ready and uncover)

Add sea salt kale and 4 tbsp of olive oil to a skillet. Cover and put on a low heat for five minutes. Then remove the top and serve.

Ladle the shrimp and sauce over the rice. Add kale to the plate and you’re ready to go.