The word pilau refers to a rice dish that has been prepared in a seasoned broth of onions and vegetables and served with shellfish, chicken or game. It arrived with African slaves and is very popular in the Caribbean and Southern states.
- 2 lb. fresh shrimp, heads and shells on
- 2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
- 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 1⁄2 cups long-grain rice
- 3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 375°. Remove heads and shells from shrimp and refrigerate meat. Combine heads and shells with 1 chopped onion, carrot, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 20 minutes.
- Place roasted vegetables and shells in a large pot with 1 quart of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain, discard solids, and reserve broth.
- Cook bacon until crisp in a large pot, drain on paper towels. Sauté green pepper and remaining onion in same pan, in bacon fat, for 10 minutes. Add rice and cook until transparent, about 5 minutes. Season with pepper. Add tomatoes, parsley, and 2 1⁄2 cups shrimp broth. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, adding more stock if rice gets dry.
- Add shrimp to rice, cover, and cook another 10 minutes. Stir in bacon and serve.