Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Monday nights are hard in our house. I have a late evening meeting that always makes me a little late, the daughter has soccer practice which means she's starving the moment she walks in the door and, more importantly on this Monday, I have The Last of Us to play. I'm just swamped, people. Unfortunately, the days of ramen noodles or mac & cheese are behind me so it is up to I, the cook, to figure out how to make a hearty, filling meal on the fly. Challenge accepted.

1 lb. deveined, peeled, raw shrimp
2-4 tomatoes (depending on size)
1 c. long grain rice
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful of chopped green onions
Handful of chopped fresh parsley
2-3 tsp. seasoning blend of your choice (see below)
1 T. butter
1 T. oil
salt, pepper

The water should be cloudy with rice starch before you drain.
First step is to cook your rice. I have a handy, plastic, microwavable rice cooker that I adore. Pour your rice into the cooker and fill it half way with water. slosh the rice with your hands until the water is opaque -- this removes some of the sticky starch from the rice. Drain your water out and then add 1 ½ c.water. Place your lid on and cook according to your rice cooker's instructions based on your microwave power. For mine, the magic number is 13 minutes.

Chop your tomatoes, parsley and green onions. I used roma tomatoes here because that's what I had on hand but I've used heirloom tomatoes with decidedly nice results as well. Chop your parsley and green onions as roughly as you like.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add butter, oil and garlic. Cook until the garlic smells like the heavenly, miracle food that it is and add your seasoning blend. Personally, I use Tony Chachere's because I like the blend of heat and spice, but you can use which ever blend you fancy. If you're not a fan of spicy food, you can substitute Old Bay and I won't tell anyone. Mix your seasoning blend with the garlic until you have a slurry/paste of sorts.

Add your shrimp. It's important that you're using raw shrimp here. Pre-cooked shrimp never take on the flavor like they're supposed to. You can use whatever shrimp strike your fancy -- in this pictures I'm using tiger prawns because they were on sale at Costco. Let the shrimp sit flat for about a minute or two, until one side is pink. Flip them over.

Add the tomatoes and green onions, tossing them about for a bit to allow them to cook. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until your shrimp are cooked throughout. Salt and pepper to taste.

Your rice should be done about now. If you still have a few minutes on your rice timer, turn the heat on the shrimp to the lowest setting and find some way to pass the time. I took this time to marvel at how many damn bottles of of cayenne pepper I own. Holy crap were they having a sale at the store at one point? Why do I have so many? Note to self: combine bottles in nearish future.

Once your rice is done, pour it into the shrimp mixture and toss about. Ding -- dinner's done in 15 minutes. Now sit awkwardly at the table while you insist that your family inhale their food because The Last of Us waits for no man or woman.


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