Recipe: Spicy Shrimp with Fresh Herbs & Corn

Friday evening. You may be running low on food staples while trying to hold off on grocery shopping until Saturday or Sunday. What a good time to throw together a quick and easy dinner from the corners of your fridge/freezer/pantry(/garden!).

 

As my dad rooted through the freezer, the only protein he found in a large enough quantity to feed four of us was a bag of frozen shrimp. From the couch, I offered to look up some recipes for inspiration, as jambalaya sounded too heavy for a summer evening. Many of the recipes I browsed through had avocado which, unfortunately, we had already eaten. Others paired fresh corn, which we did have, with the shrimp. Eventually I found this recipe from The Kitchn, which looked simple, quick, and tasty. I took it as a starting point and riffed from there.

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The result? Thumbs up all around the dinner table. At one point, my mom asked “What’s in this?” I took that as a subtle reference to the spice level… F said, “It has punch.” That’s due to the tag-team combo of red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper. Perhaps my wrist flicked a bit too much cayenne onto the shrimp, but F loved the heat. If you’re more sensitive to spiciness, use less cayenne. The herb combination can also be adjusted; we happened to have a tiny bit of CSA cilantro and a big bunch of parsley in the fridge, so I used those in addition to fresh basil from the garden.

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As we ate, I remarked that cooking a dish like this my favorite way to cook: take a few simple ingredients, throw them into a pan, and combine/season/enhance in a creative way. Make it on a Friday, make it on a Monday — it’s all the same to me!

Spicy Shrimp with Fresh Herbs & Corn (inspired by The Kitchn)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • to taste: red pepper flakes + cayenne pepper (I used 1/8-1/4 tsp of each)
  • 1.5 lbs frozen shrimp, thawed, rinsed, & patted dry
  • kernels from 2 ears of fresh corn (1/2 – 3/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil, minced
  • 3/4 – 1 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • to taste: salt & pepper
  • zest & juice of 1 lemon

Procedure

  • Put the olive oil in a skillet or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and cayenne, and cook, stirring occasionally, 3-5 minutes or until the garlic is golden and fragrant.
  • Turn the heat up to high, then add the shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes. Add the corn and cook for 1 more minute.
  • Turn the heat off and stir in the rest of the ingredients (herbs, S&P, & lemon zest + juice). Serve over rice or another grain of choice.

Enjoy!

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