Monday, March 15, 2010

Gluten Free Lemon Shrimp and Pasta: How Easy is That?

You may have noticed that I never post about seafood on this here blog. There is a very good reason for that: I hate to cook seafood. I mean, I really really hate to cook seafood. I will gladly go to a restaurant and order a slab of halibut, some salmon, or the shrimp cocktail, but as far as cooking it in my own home, I vote no. But then I realized most of my blog followers and tweeps probably love fish, and I am neglecting a whole food group that most people eat all the time. I decided to try making a lemon shrimp pasta, since I love it and there are about a billion recipes for it and it seems pretty simple. Believe me, I could not stand it when I tried this recipe and found out how easy it was to get a delicious dinner on the table. Get ready for some name-dropping, and see if you can follow the trail of famous cooks to my first successful seafood dinner. There will be a quiz at the end to see if you counted how many famous cooks I'm drawing from! Just kidding, but not really.
I was reading an article in the April Rachael Ray Everyday magazine called "A Fish Hater's Guide to Loving Fish" and it listed all the reasons people hate to cook fish. I realized that I was one of those non-fish cookers. And I had almost all of the symptoms of a fish-hater: I hate the smell, I hate the feeling, I hate the eyes looking at me, I never know how to season it, and I think it's too expensive. The article had lots of great tips on how to get fish into your diet. Really, I do think it's so good for you and I want those benefits, but I'm just unwilling to make it myself. Then I was watching Giada, as I usually do, and she made lemon shrimp pasta and just used the frozen shrimp that come in a bag. She dumped them right in the pan from the bag. Genius! Then there's no touching, no smelling and no gross factor. Then I was watching Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa yesterday, as I recently have started to do, and she roasted the shrimp for her lemon pasta. There is a bit of touching, but you don't have to stir the shrimp and it looked so easy. She coated the shrimp with olive oil and salt and pepper and roasted them at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes until they were done. So easy.
I'd like to say I made up this recipe myself, but really, I based it on watching and reading three cooks whom I admire. All of their methods were so similar that I can't really tell whose part of the recipe comes in where. And it is one of those naturally gluten free dishes, and all I had to change was substituting my Tinkyada noodles for regular pasta. So here's how I did it:
Gluten Free Lemon Shrimp Pasta
1/2 package Tinkyada spaghetti
1/2 minced shallot
3 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 T olive oil
2 T butter
12-13 frozen shrimp
1 lemon
1 T white wine
2 T chopped parsley
pinch salt
pinch pepper
Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Mince the shallot and the garlic. Melt the butter and the oil together in a large skillet, add the shallot and sweat for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the frozen shrimp, and arrange in the skillet so they are all flat and cooking on one side. Let cook for about 5-6 minutes on one side, then flip over each one with tongs and cook until they are pink and cooked through, about another 3-4 minutes. This seems like a long time, but they need a bit longer to cook because they are frozen. Add the zest of the lemon and juice from 1/2 of it. Add the wine, parsley, salt and pepper and stir together to coat the shrimp. Add the drained pasta right into the skillet and toss to coat pasta.
I'd say this was a total success, one, because I actually made seafood that was edible and safely cooked so that no one would die of botulism; two, because my husband ate it and actually said it was good; and three, because I'm planning on making it again for lunch today. Yay me.
Happy eating!

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