Who are you calling shrimp?

Last Friday’s dinner was one of the best in recent memory, and I’m not just saying that. I was able to make all of this in our kitchen while hosting ten Little Flowers and their moms for an All Saints Day party.

First I cleaned, trimmed and halved about a pound of Brussels sprouts. I placed them in a cast iron pan and tossed them with salt, pepper and olive oil. Then, frankly, I stashed the pan in the microwave for storage, because who wants Brussels sprouts stinking up the fridge?

Next I prepped that baked shrimp recipe that’s all over Pinterest but now Pinterest is saying the link is spammy. Boo. Anyway, it wasn’t my idea, but here’s what I did: spread one stick of room temperature butter in the bottom of a 9″x13″ pan; covered the butter with the slices three lemons; spread 2lbs thawed, peeled and cleaned shrimp on top of that (there was a keee-razy sale on frozen shrimp, cleaned, easy peel at the market a few weeks ago); then sprinkle a packet of dried Italian dressing mix on top of that. This I covered with aluminum foil and stashed in the fridge.

Next I entertained the girls and their moms. Thanks to our “craft mom” for the meeting, we made “spoon saints,” so easy even Second Shift of Kid could make one.

Then I preheated the oven to 350F. I put the sprouts in for 15 minutes. I then put the shrimp in the 350F oven with the Brussels sprouts and let them all bake for an additional 15 minutes. About ten minutes from showtime, I made up a batch of cous cous; had we had more time, I would’ve made pasta; had we need for gluten-free, I would’ve used rice. Throw the starch in with the shrimp and mix to coat. Serve all. The shrimp were so tender and flavorful. I am not a Brussels sprouts fan, but these were so good that I am looking for excuses to make them again.

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“I need a spag drop and a meddy shrimp on the fly!”

Ah, that title brings back memories–tasty ones. Back when I was a starving artist right out of college, I kept myself in rent by working at an Italian chain restaurant. The super-easy recipe below is based on one of my favorite menu items from those days. I haven’t been to that restaurant in so long that I don’t know if they even offer it any more.

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Mediterranean Garlic Shrimp
1/2 lb frozen tiny shrimp
3 lemons
2 t butter
1 t olive oil
1 T minced garlic (more or less to taste)
1/2 lb spaghetti, cooked al dente
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
1 T dried parsley
salt & pepper to taste

Thaw and drain shrimp. Slice one lemon horizontally in “wheels”, then juice the other two lemons, removing seeds. Melt butter and olive oil in a large skillet, then add garlic. Stirring quickly, add lemon juice and shrimp. Pour all over hot pasta and toss with lemon slices, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Let sit covered for five minutes before serving.

If you want to sneak in some vegetables, feel free to add broccoli, carrots, spinach, etc.

I’ve made this with rice instead of pasta to share at a work lunch for some friends with celiac disease, and it went over pretty well.