I teach dance on Monday nights so Jon is on his own for dinner. Unlike most guys who would just order take-out, he takes advantage of being able to cook up some things that I wouldn't eat. Here is his post...
OK – let’s get one thing straight: just because this is Mary Ellen’s blog, and she comes up with some really good dishes, it doesn’t mean that her other half doesn’t know his way around the kitchen. (Although in all honesty, I’m probably better at picking out the wine)
Anyway, occasionally, when she’s out, rather than relying on leftovers or takeout from whatever happens to be nearby, I’ll whip up something halfway decent with whatever I can find. Tonight was a good alternative to spaghetti and meatballs:
- Shrimp (peeled and de-veined; 21-25 count): use however many you want
- Lime Juice – 2 oz
- Olive oil – 2-3 tbsp
- Garlic – 3-4 cloves (minced or pressed)
- 2 medium scallions
- ½ red bell pepper, sliced and halved
- Chili powder to taste
- Cayenne pepper to taste
- Cilantro - 1 tsp
- Fettuccine Fini – 1 serving
I used frozen shrimp that I had in the house, but certainly fresh would be even better. Clean the shrimp well (I used about 10-12), and pour the lime juice over them in a bowl. You’ll only want to be leave them in for 15 minutes or so, or they’ll start to ‘cook’, and you’ll end up with ceviche instead of what I ended up with!
Side note: I’ve figured out over the past 30-some years that timing really is everything, and this dish is no different. Have all of your other ingredients ready (garlic peeled and minced, peppers and scallions chopped, spices ready) and put the pasta in boiling water. This gives you about 7 minutes or so to cook everything else, pour wine and serve before anything gets mushy, dried out, etc.
After you’ve put the pasta in, start the garlic in olive oil over a med/high skillet, and as soon as it starts to bubble, drain the excess lime juice and toss in the shrimp. I added PLENTY of chili powder (it’s not truly hot – just fairly robust) and a good couple of shakes of cayenne (just for a little heat). After these cooked about a minute or so, I tossed in the scallions, pepper and added the cilantro. Reduce the heat to medium, tossing frequently.
After the pasta is done to your liking, drain it well, and toss it right into the skillet. Toss the pasta in the shrimp to incorporate well, and serve. This is what I ended up with:
Lastly, wine choice is always an important consideration. Considering it’s only Monday, and I was cooking for myself, I decided to go with an inexpensive bottle of Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 from Sonoma County. It’s less than $15 a bottle, and for an every day wine, this holds up well to most foods. Now, I understand that 90%+ of the folks out there will insist that this be served with a full-bodied white wine, but I’m a firm believer in enjoying what you like, with what you like, and for me, reds work just fine. Maybe if Mary Ellen lets me do another guest post, I’ll expand on that…