Saturday, December 18, 2010

I made you some shrimp scampi.

Dear readers and all those crickets who make noise when I try to address you,

We have entered into that magical time, that scary spiral of abyss when Christmas shopping can still be postponed but you know that if you put it off you will hate yourself when you finally do go. Fortunately, when we get over this hump, it'll be smooth sailing to all those post-Christmas-oh-shit-look-at-all-this-inventory-we-need-to-sell sales at your favorite stores. $3 lotion from Victoria's Secret, anyone? I would like ten, please. They tend to mask the odor of despair and let people around you know that you find personal hygiene important. Plus some of them are glittery, and glitter aids in the blinding of those you find distasteful.

I think I had more to say, but let's get right into the food, here. Because I forgot the other stuff and it probably wasn't going anywhere I can be proud of.

So... what's great about shrimp is that they cook really fast. What's less great is that they're kind of pricey. At fish counters, the unpeeled ones tend to be a few dollars cheaper, but you have to decide if that's worth the labor on your end. The great thing about this recipe is that it takes 15 minutes to make, start to finish, if you have peeled shrimp. Also, since you broke the bank on the shrimp, it helps that the other ingredients are inexpensive. Shrimp scampi is basically shrimp + garlic + butter.  Really effortless, and kind of impressive. Looky:

Shrimp Scampi with Green Onions and Orzo
Adapted from June 2009's Bon Appetit
4 servings my ass. It serves 2 generously.

1 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta. Faster than rice. Or make rice. Or any pasta you have in your pantry)
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter, divided
2 (no, 3 or 4) garlic cloves, peeled
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined (tail on is okay)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp cut parsley (optional)
1/3 cup white wine (do not use, cheaper and actually tastier without it- I used 1/3 cup chicken stock, or you can skip this altogether)

Cook orzo (or rice, or other pasta) according to package directions
Melt 2 tbs butter in a skillet over medium heat, using a garlic press, squeeze garlic into the skillet, stir 10 seconds.
Add shrimp and saute 2 minutes. Add green onions and stir 1-2 minutes (until shrimp are  just opaque). Add wine or stock, if using, and toss until wine boils, about 1 minute. Mix in remaining butter, add parsley if using, season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve mixed with pasta or orzo, or on top of rice. Resist the urge to lick the pan.

Now, the fact that I may have eaten two tablespoons of butter does make me uneasy, so I guess you can always replace some of the butter with olive oil, or eat a smaller serving and have a salad on the side. If you're sad about leaving out the white wine, you can have that on the side, too. Preferably in a glass, since otherwise it tends to run all over the table.