17 April 2012

Ecstatic Shellfish

I was supposed to make Red Beans and Rice today.

To make decent RB&R, one really needs to start early in the day.  I frequently think to myself, "Oh, well, I can speed make them."  It never, ever turns out well.  Neither does the crock pot, at least for me. You just need to be able to stir, add water, taste - all the day long.
I looked up and it was 1:30.

Additionally, when I made my menu plan I didn't know I'd want to feed a couple of ladies tonight -  ladies who are Louisianans, at least when it comes to food.  Ladies who, I know for a fact, make much better Red Beans than I do.  In fact, one of them smoked me in a Red Beans making contest.  So, why serve a third or fourth place dish to the creator of the gold medal winner?

So, I started poking around my kitchen to see what else I could make.  I needed it to be quick - I had some extra small people around here and it wasn't a day for kneading anything.  Secondly, I needed it to be yummy.  Third, I was not going to the store.

My friend Anna, when she was a fairly-new-lywed, tried this recipe called Happy Shrimp.  Then, one Sunday I think, she made it for us.  It was delicious.  I already have a tried and true shrimp pasta recipe that I have been making since childhood - and I'll never give it up - but Happy Shrimp is different.

I went a googling today and I found the recipe for Happy Shrimp.

But, of course, I didn't have all the things and I messed with it so much that it was really not the same thing anymore.

Ada Brooks asked for the recipe.
Paul used cuss words to describe it that I'll not reproduce here. But, you know in Lethal Weapon when Danny Glover says he's too old for this Something?   Well, Paul said this recipe was "Some Good Something"  

My same friend Anna quietly admonishes me about twice a month to quit fiddling with and/or making up recipes and not writing down what I do. 

So, I'm trying to grow.

Ecstatic Shellfish

1 to 1.5 lbs Shrimp, Peeled  (Medium, Kroger Brand with Shells On EZ Peel is what I use for everything.  The only way in which it lets me down is it spells Easy, "EZ")
1/2  of a purple onion, finely diced.  This measured out to be right at 1/2 cup.  Be pround, Anna.  Be proud.
6 Tablespoons Butter (3/4 of a stick)

Melt butter over medium heat.  Throw in onions.  Throw in Shrimp.  Stir it around for about 5 minutes, until Shrimp turn pink and are no longer translucent.

Remove Shrimp.

To warm butter/onion/shrimpjuice mixture add 6 cloves garlic, pressed/minced.  Stir for a second.
 Throw in 2 cups of grape tomatoes that you have cut in half.   
Stir for a minute.

Pour in 1/3 cup of Riesling.  I know.  That's specific. Most wine/creamsauce combos call for dry white wine.  Well, I didn't have any.  And, the coming cayenne pepper I think plays nicely with the Riesling.  So, go with it.  Or go with whatever white wine you have.  I'm not the cream sauce police.  Far from it - I think it all tastes good. 

Stir it around for a second.
Add 2 tsps dried basil
Add 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper.  I'll confess.  Tonight, I added more like 1/4 tsp. I thought it could have used a bit more kick.  My kids loved it, though, and I think if it had had the kick I love, they probably wouldn't have loved it, so I'll likely vary my cayenne in the future based on my audience. 
Add 3/4 cup of heavy cream. 

Swirl it all around.  S&P to taste.

Meanwhile, put on to boil 12 ounces of the pasta of your choice -  Bowtie is what we used and I thought it worked nicely.Also, the 12 ounces was the right amount.  Not 8.  Not 16. 
Let it simmer a bit - till it coats the back of a spoon  - 8 minutes maybe.

Add back the shrimp.  Heat through. 

Toss with the drained pasta.  Yes, toss it.  This is a thin sauce - you want it coating all of the crevices.  Don't do your tastebuds a disservice by trying to make it prettier and piling it on top.

There ya go, Anna Dubs -

There ya go, Future Ann Lowrey who cannot remember what she does either.

This is the way to make happy shrimp with ingredients you keep on hand.