BACON-FAT-FRIED SHRIMP

3 cups precooked brown rice

2 slices bacon

2 large fennel bulbs, chopped in -inch dice, some fronds reserved

tsp. salt

red bell pepper, chopped in -inch dice

1 lb. jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined

cup white wine

Heat rice according to package directions.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, 8 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel to cool and drain, leaving the fat in the skillet.

Add fennel to skillet, stirring to coat with the bacon fat. Season with a pinch of salt. Cook until just starting to soften; 3 minutes. Stir in red bell pepper; cook 3 minutes. (The vegetables should remain tender-crisp.) Add the shrimp in a single layer; season with teaspoon salt. Cook, turning once, until just cooked through, 5 minutes.

Pour wine into skillet; lower heat to a simmer. Crumble the bacon; stir into the skillet. Cook just to heat through. Serve the shrimp and vegetables over the rice. Garnish with chopped fennel fronds.

Makes 4 servings.

Note: Precooked brown rice delivers whole grains in less time. Substitute steamed white rice, if you like.

Joe Gray

Chicago Tribune