Friday, May 28, 2010

X=Shrimp (Scampi + Tomatoes)

I don't know why, but for some reason I just recently got over a horrible aversion to shrimp. Sure, I was moderately allergic to the little bastards for years, but what it really boiled down to was that I just didn't like them. What I did like was everything that has surrounded every shrimp dish that has ever existed. I'm pretty excited to be liking shrimp all of a sudden because it is a GREAT summer food and, as far as seafood goes, is relatively inexpensive.

As part of my savvy shopping I've started going through the grocery store's weekly fliers to see what's on sale and try to turn those things in to part of a meal. I usually keep my eye out for proteins, produce, and spices (since they tend to be the most costly part of any meal planning). When looking through this week, I found that bags of easy-peel shrimp were on sale for $6 for the 1lb bag.

Want to know a secret? That frozen shrimp in the bag is the same frozen shrimp you buy at the counter. You're not going to see a huge difference in quality unless you go to a local fish monger. So if you're shopping in the big grocer's, you might as well get whatever is on sale.

Also on sale was Ronzoni pasta (10 boxes for $10!). So I picked up a box of whole-wheat angel hair pasta. At this point, shrimp scampi would be a no-brainer. Scampi is great because it's just parsley, butter, oil, and garlic with pasta and whatever meat you put in. So, I was ready to roll. My plans changed a little when I discovered sun-dried tomatoes in my fridge... the suspense killing you?

Shrimp w/ Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce
1 lb Shrimp -- peeled, veined, and cut in to thirds
1 Shallot, minced
4 cloves Garlic, minced
2 tblsp Butter
1/3 cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup White Wine
1/4 cup Half-and-Half (or heavy cream)
1/3 cup chopped Parsley (fresh!)
1lb whole wheat angel-hair pasta

1) In a medium sauce pan, boil water and cook the pasta. Drain.

2) In a large skillet: Saute garlic and shallot in the butter over medium heat until soft. Add sun-dried tomatoes.

3) Add white wine and shrimp. Give it a quick stir and then put the lid on. Cook for about 5 minutes until the shrimp are mostly pink. Stir again and then put the lid back on for another 5 minutes until the shrimp are fully cooked and all of the flavors are combined.

4) Remove the lid and reduce the heat to low (give it a second for the heat to lower). Stir in the half-and-half and parsley until everything is combined. Toss with pasta!

(Salt and Pepper to Taste!)

This dish was delicious. I was so excited that it tasted exactly how I imagined it would: wholesome, healthy, fresh, yet robust. The whole-wheat pasta isn't just a healthier option, but it also compliments the rustic flavor of the dish. See? Shrimp is your friend!

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