There is something so incredibly delicious about plans when they are canceled. Don't get me wrong, I love to get dressed up, put on what I call my "foxy in five minute" look and run out the door in a fab pair of heels. However, when I get that phone call that the plans fell through, that my friend won't be meeting me at my house, that we won't be fighting rush hour traffic to get to our destination, I feign disappointment and put on my sweats. Tonight, my sweats were coupled with watching "Something New," mourning Michael Jackson (still) and making Creole Shrimp with Garlic and Lemon.
I have an interesting love/hate relationship with shrimp. Hate: yes, I know it is not eco-friendly. Hate: it is a scavenger, so God only knows what it eats. Hate: when I was growing up and my aunts were having fun playing cards and drinking frothy mixed beverages, I got to stand alone in the kitchen, "de-veining" pounds of shrimp to prep for the jambalaya.
Love: They taste good, and gives me a break from the chicken rut I have seemed to be in for the last few months. Not too deep, but whatever.
Once the little creatures turned from grey to pink and curled up like snails in the shell, I enjoyed them, one by one, straight from the skillet. Since I was home alone, I saw no need to abide by silly things like manners. But for purposes of a second helping and photography, I went for a plate.
To tell you a secret, nights alone can be more fun than the alternative.
Creole Shrimp with Garlic and Lemon
(adapted from the "Food and Wine: Annual Cookbook"
1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 1/2 tbsp. very finely chopped garlic
1 tbsp. Creole seasoning
1 red pepper, finely chopped
3 tbsps. minced onion
1 tsp. pepper
2 tbsps. vegetable oil
juice of two lemons
1/4 cup chopped parsley
a pinch of kosher salt
1. In a bowl, toss the shrimp with the garlic Creole seasoning and bell pepper.
2. In a skillet, saute the shrimp in the vegetable oil over moderately high heat, turning the shrimp once, until they are just white throughout, about 3 minutes per side. Add the lemon juice, salt, pepper, onion and parsley to the skillet and toss well. Transfer the shrimp to a serving dish (or in my case, just eat it from the pan).