Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Linguine

I had to come up with a special way to use a very nice gift from a very gorgeous little girl. Lemons fresh off the tree in her backyard in AZ, thanks Addi! I don't think I would tire of that delicious resource. As I write with the snow collecting into the 1" range on the grill cover, lemon trees sound very foreign to me. Yesterday it was 65 F and sunny. Today it is 32 F and snowy. That's Chicago in March for ye.

My preference for purchasing shrimp is to acquire them frozen, butterflied and deveined, tail on. Sometimes I need that tail for skewering, and the tails and shells are great for making shrimp stock. That will make for some good shrimp risotto.

99% of the time the best way to defrost protein, like these shrimpies, is to soak them in cold water with a couple changes in bath water. Just make sure the bag won't let water in. You're not using the microwave's defrost setting, are you? That's nasty.

The success of these quick, easy meals hinge on the quality of your ingredients. Literally from start to finish, from the EVOO to the parm-reg. That stuff in the green can? That's not cheese, that's garbage. Life is too short to eat shitty food.

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Linguine
4 servings

1 lb. 16-20 size shrimp
3 TB diced shallot
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
pinch chili flake
1 C dry white wine
1 C heavy cream
1/2 ts lemon zest
1/3 C fresh lemon juice
herbage- that day I used dried, a touch of fresh thyme would have been ideal
1/2 ts dried thyme
1/2 ts dried rosemary
1 lb. linguine, fettuccine, angel hair, etc.

Defrost the shrimp and remove the shell and tail, season lightly with S&P. The crustaceans should come to room temp during this process, you don't want them to hit the pan super cold. Get the salted water going in your pasta pot. Coat a large skillet with EVOO, place over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, add the shrimp and cook for one minute, then stir well and continue to cook another 3-4 minutes, making sure they brown evenly without overcooking. This is not the time you check the dryer or take Scruffy for a walk. Remove the shrimp from the skillet into a bowl, set aside.

Add a healthy (pun intended) amount of EVOO to the skillet, then the shallots. Stir and cook for a couple minutes, then add a pinch of chili flake and the slivers of garlic. Remove from heat and continue to stir so the garlic does not burn. Burnt garlic does not taste good. Once golden brown, return to heat and deglaze with the wine, scraping to loosen the fond. I don't need to explain this right? Reduce by half, about 5 minutes over medium heat. During this time, start the pasta cooking. At this point, some would advise to strain this sauce, but BLT does not usually take that step, we like things rustic and as they are, you may strain if desired. Add the cream and stir to combine, then turn down a touch to medium-low. Add the herbs, lemon zest and juice, S&P to taste. Cook for about 5 minutes, the sauce should be on a low simmer and thicken up a bit.

Once the pasta is al dente, drain and quickly add to skillet. Add the shrimp and fold everthing together. Plate, grate the cheese over, garnish with a pinch of chili flake. The pairing for this? 2008 Kim Crawford Sauvingnon Blanc, which is pretty much the house white.


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