Weeknight dinners are always a challenge. I don’t generally get home until after 6:30 and I am already *starving* when I do! So, I am trying to learn to create delicious, but quick, meals for me to rely on, and that won’t necessitate a trip to the grocery store to make. Because, you know, that just pushes back dinner! Of course, yes, I could plan my meals in advance, and I could buy everything I need during the weekend, but really! Creativity just goes out the door at that point. Plus, I’m indecisive and making decisions that far in advance? Oh, my. Just. Not. Happening.
Last night’s dinner definitely fit these criteria, and I’ll definitely by making it again. So flavorful, and it took a mere 30 minutes to get on the table! And only ten minutes for me to figure out. Since some frozen (uncooked) shrimp were the only protein the boyfriend and I had in the house, I started from there. I then realized that I also had a fairly large supply of garlic, and that that went perfectly with shrimp. So, I started searching for a garlic shrimp recipe, and came across a perfect one on Cook’s Illustrated. Using that as a base for modification, this was the end product…
Garlicky Shrimp Pasta, serves 2
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
- 2 small shallots, minced
- 3 oz. micro greens
- 6 oz. of capellini (angel hair) pasta
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 14 large uncooked shrimp, tails and shells removed and reserved
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 medium cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup vermouth
- 1/2 lemon, juice
- On one back burner, begin heating a large pot of salted water to cook the pasta. Watch the water while preparing the rest of the dish, and when boiling add pasta and cook for the recommended time (5-6 minutes for capellini), or until al dente. Drain, and set aside.
- On the other back burner, place the 1/2 cups water and shrimp tails/shells in a small pot and heat over medium-high heat. Checking periodically, cook until mixture has reduced to 1/2 cup, then strain out the shrimp tails/shells and set the shrimp stock aside.
- On a front burner, melt one tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. While the butter is melting, mix the bread crumbs with the shallots, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. Once the butter is melted, add the bread crumb mixture to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 7-10 minutes. Transfer to plate to cool, and mix in the micro greens. Wipe out the skillet with paper towels.
- Meanwhile, dry shrimp thoroughly and toss with sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. Return your front skillet to medium high heat, and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and heat until shimmering. Add the shrimp and and cook until spotty brown and edges turn pink, about 3 minutes (do not flip shrimp). Remove skillet from heat, and transfer the shrimp to a waiting plate. Again, wipe out the skillet with paper towels.
- Return skillet to medium heat and add 1 tablespoon butter. When the butter is melted, add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic just begins to turn golden, about 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring frequently, for a few minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and slowly whisk in the vermouth and shrimp stock. Bring to simmer and cook until mixture reduces to 3/4 cup, about 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Lastly, stir in the lemon juice.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, return the shrimp to the pan, and toss to combine. Cook until shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Toss the shrimp and sauce with the drained pasta, then add the breadcrumb and micro-green mix. Once combined, serve on plates with additional lemon wedges if so desired.