Thursday, July 8, 2010

Spicy Shrimp and Pasta

The girls like to give me a hard time for making shrimp twice for our Iron Chef competitions, and winning both times (Iron Chef Citrus and Iron Chef Wine.) But I like to point out that I don’t get to vote on my own dish, so if I keep winning, it’s because they keep picking my food. Besides, did the Bulls stop playing Michael Jordan because he was the key to winning so often? No, they didn’t. And yes, I did just compare Michael Jordan to shrimp.

Anyway, the point is—people like shrimp. It’s one of those foods that can carry pretty much any flavor. It’s a little different from normal household fare, so you don’t get the boring feeling that chicken can give you. And it’s relatively healthy and light. Maybe not so much paired with a big ol’ pile of pasta, but hey, every little bit helps.

This is one of our favorite meals to make. It came from in its original form, and is meant to be grilled on skewers. It was definitely fantastic prepared that way, and I recommend it, but Steve and I wanted to make it into a heartier meal, so we added the pasta. Slam dunk! (See how I kept the MJ metaphor going there? Yeah!)

2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Angel Hair pasta, cooked
Shredded parmesan cheese

This is the modified recipe. However, I almost never actually measure anything and it always turns out fine. Add more garlic if you want, or more lemon juice. Use less cayenne if you want something less spicy. At the same time that I’m mixing up this marinade, I make a second, slightly smaller batch that we throw in to coat the pasta.

Mix the first five ingredients together in a bowl. If you are buying frozen shrimp (which is what I do, and is probably a culinary no-no, but it’s just easier and cheaper for me) make sure you drain the shrimp before adding it to the marinade or else it will dilute the flavor. Once you add the shrimp, stir to coat, and let it sit for no more than 25 minutes. The lemon juice starts to cook the shrimp and it could end up tough and chewy.

We cook the shrimp in a large skillet, but they are excellent grilled on skewers as well. Make sure to keep an eye on them as they cook very quickly. Only about two minutes each side. As soon as the shrimp look opaque, add the cooked pasta to the pan and pour the second batch of marinade in as well. Cooking the pasta in the sauce helps it to soak up the flavors, more than if you just ladeled it on top. In fact, I’d recommend this step on any pasta you are making. Heat just about a minute, and serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. It’s a great tasting, quick & easy meal for a weeknight. And in any food competition, it’ll probably have an unfair advantage.

(Click here for printable recipe)

No comments:

Post a Comment