Saturday, October 31, 2009

NOT your mother's shrimp...


Honestly, this couple could be eating chicken livers or corn nuts; they're certainly not thinking about food!

The problem with shrimp cocktail is it's such a date food. And, frankly, it's dated. So good, but So twenty years ago. And then there's the bacteria count to worry about...

I'm a pasta girl, and I love shrimp so this one's a no-brainer. You can add as much or as little dried red chile pepper as you like, but do add some. And keep a bag of frozen, de-veined shrimp in your freezer for this recipe. You don't need fresh shrimp (which are never really fresh anyway since they freeze them in brine on the shrimp boat, I'm told... then are thawed for the supermarket sale.

Of course the best way to get shrimp is off the shrimp boat, which Bob and I did once, on a sailing trip to the Dry Tortugas, south of Florida. Traded a case of beer and a bottle of rum for a couple of pounds of fresh-caught shrimp. Ask us about that story sometime when we're sitting around the table, enjoying this meal:

NOT your mother's shrimp recipe (serves approximately 4)

3 TBSP. good quality olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped fine
1 TBSP. chopped garlic
2 TPSP. chopped Italian parsley
1 and 1/2 tsp. dried red chile pepper flakes, according to taste and temperment
1 can diced tomatoes (Italian-style is good, but plain works)
1 lb. pasta
10 or more shrimp, thawed.
1 TPSP. capers
sea salt


Saute onion in olive oil over med-high until onion is pale golden. Add the garlic, stir. Then add parlsey and chile pepper, and stir some more.

Add tomatoes, and stir. Turn heat down to medium and simmer.

Now cook the pasta.

Meanwhile shell the shrimp, and devein if you're using fresh shrimp. Rinse and pat dry with paper towel.

Put the shrimp into the pan, adding a little salt, and the capers. Turn the shrimp over after a minute, to ensure even cooking. Don't overcook. When they loose the shiny gray color, they're done. Turn heat down very low.

Remove half the shrimp and chop them up finely, then put them back in the pan, and stir.

Serve over your cooked pasta. Garnish with more parsley and a few extra capers.

With wine or beer, this slightly spicy dish rocks. And easy enough to prepare after a day at the office.

1 comment:

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