Dear Home Ec 101:
I can boil water, I’m not THAT helpless, but I’m no Emeril. I need a quick dish that looks as though I put a lot of effort into the meal. My girlfriend is coming over, but I don’t have a whole lot of time to invest in the meal.
Busy in Bremerton
What about spicy shrimp served over fettucini spinach alfredo? You can put this little number together in under twenty minutes, provided all of your ingredients are thawed. It does take 3 pans so be sure to fill your sink with hot, soapy water so you can worry more about wooing and less about scrubbing dried on spinach.
- 1 lb shrimp
- 6 TBSP butter, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups half and half
- 1 1/3 cups grated Parmesan
- 1 TBSP flour
- 1 box frozen, chopped spinach thawed and drained (squeeze ALL the water out)
- Cajun seasoning (use this to taste, if you like it spicy, be generous)
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper (approximately)
Heat the water for the pasta. Rinse, peel, and devein your shrimp. (Yes, feel free to buy the shrimp already peeled and deveined). Sprinkle the shrimp with Cajun seasoning and set aside.
In a small bowl stir together the flour and grated Parmesan.
Add your pasta to the boiling water.
Heat 4TBSP of butter in one skillet over medium heat, add four cloves of minced garlic and saute for a minute. Add drained spinach and stir often until heated through.
While the spinach is heating, melt 2TBSP butter in a second skillet over medium to medium high heat. Watch this pan carefully you do not want to burn the butter.
Stir 1 1/2 cups half and half into the spinach. Slowly sprinkle in the Parmesan/flour combination stirring well. Reduce heat to low, season with pepper and stir occasionally.
Add shrimp to the butter in the second skillet, reduce heat to medium and stir. The shrimp will cook quickly and it is important to remove them from the heat as soon as they are pink and the flesh is no longer translucent. If the shrimp is overcooked it will become rubbery.
Drain the pasta.
To give your plates a professional look, scoop a serving of fettuccine into the center of the plate and with tongs give the whole bunch a twist. This brings the noodles into a nice pile. Scoop a ladleful of sauce over the noodles and arrange the shrimp on top.
Serve with a salad and if you indulge, a light glass of wine. If you need help choosing, just ask at the store, wine snobs love to share their knowledge and are usually happy to offer suggestions in several price ranges.
Candlelight is always a nice touch and hides the cobwebs in the corners. (You said you were busy!)