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.
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.
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!
- One Year Ago: Italian-Style Balsamic-Poached Chicken and Zucchini Bread Pancakes and Things Ukrainians Write: Collaborative Stories
- Two Years Ago: The Stadium Crowd
- Three Years Ago: Inspiring tales from female adventurers
Spicy Shrimp with Fresh Herbs & Corn (inspired by The Kitchn)
- 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
- 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.