The good news in all of this unsettling and ever-so-scary pandemic is that I have an excuse to cook every night— except when my generous neighbor and friend treats me to pizza, mongolian beef and even burgers. Yes, it’s much harder to deal with the grocery stores—distance-keeping, mask-wearing and no-touching-the-produce. Typically I roam through the stores and markets for entertainment. Now I’m relegated to dashing and darting through the aisles.
Even so, it’s been such fun to perfect my stovetop skills. My two recents—born out of the desire to use up some butternut squash, a can of garbanzo beans and frozen raw shrimp—may have become my all-time favorites. Here’s my off-the-cuff recipe for this tasty and colorful shrimp dish.
Serves 2 or 1 hungry person
1 dozen or so shrimp (frozen raw or fresh raw)
1 cup (give or take) broccoli rabe* (rapini), chopped into 1″ pieces
1/2 cup fresh asparagus (optional), chopped into 1″ pieces
1/4 – red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 medium shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 pats butter (salted)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Splash of white wine (any dry kind)
2, non-stick sauté pans
Non-stick tongs or spatula
- Defrost (follow package guidelines), clean and drain shrimp (remove tails if you prefer).
- Put both pats of butter into the sauté pan with a splash of olive oil.
- Heat for a few minutes and then toss in 1/2 of the diced shallot and 1 diced garlic clove; cook slightly till translucent.
- Add the shrimp; cook very briefly; be careful not to overcook. They should barely turn pink.
- Add a splash of dry white wine (optional, but worth it).
- Sprinkle with pepper (ground peppercorns) and a touch of smoky paprika.
- Remove pan from heat and set aside.
- In the second sauté pan, add another splash of olive oil.
- Heat for a few minutes and add the other half of diced shallots and remaining garlic.
- Cook till slightly translucent.
- Add broccoli rabe and asparagus and cook just until tender, but not overcooked. (Add a touch of water or dry white wine to create a little steam.)
- Stir gently or try your hand at flipping the food.
- Add the red pepper slices.
- Stir gently or toss again.
- Sprinkle kosher salt onto the vegetables.
- Taste a tiny bit to gauge the seasonings.
- Add the shrimp to the vegetables to mix up all the flavors.
Take care not to overcook the shrimp or the vegetables. If you want an Italian-inspired twist, sprinkle the vegetables with fresh or dried basil.
Rice, linguine—even quinoa—are delicious with this recipe. I like to squeeze a little fresh lemon juice on the dish before eating. Add a fresh summer salad and a glass of that crisp white wine, and you’ll be one happy camper.
*If you don’t care for the slightly bitter taste of rapini, substitute broccoli florets or another colorful vegetable.