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Monday, March 24, 2008

Garlic Shrimp, Chocolate Cake, and now I'm kicking myself for not making Easter Dinner!

This past Saturday was my husband Billy's birthday, so we of course had a party for him, and had everyone over that evening. Earlier in the week, I figured that if we were going to see everyone on Saturday, why not just skip making a huge Easter dinner? Not that I minded making one, it's just that I didn't really feel like entertaining two days in a row, you know? And that way, we could pack up the kids and get out of the house on a (sort of) mild, sunny day. Good plan, right? Right!

Until this morning, when I was reading some blogs and came across this post at culinography. I'll wait while you go have a look. Looks delicious, doesn't it? That's why I'm kicking myself for not making an Easter dinner. I love those leftovers! Ham sandwiches, quiche or frittata, and any other stuff that includes ham and your leftover veggies and stuff. Why didn't anyone remind me? Why didn't someone tell me that I'd miss out on the glory of big holiday dinner leftovers? Why????? Ah well, I guess I could pick up a ham at the store this week. Maybe even on sale! Whatever the next holiday is, I'll be counting on you guys to remind me of this, ok? Thanks in advance. ;)

So! When I asked Billy what he wanted for his birthday dinner, he said he wanted to make pizza. What? HE wanted to make pizza? He's the official pizza chef in the house, not me. So I said "Are you sure?" He was! By the way, if you're wondering if I'm talking about my husband or a kid named Billy--yes, Billy is my husband. I cannot ever get used to calling him Bill. He was Billy when I met him (we were 19! God!), and he always will be.
He's Bill to everyone else, though. But I'm off topic! He wanted to make pizza. His pizza is the best, so I wasn't going to argue. I was in charge of toppings. We had plain cheese, garlic shrimp, and meatball for my sister in law, because she's allergic to shellfish, poor thing, and we kind of like having her around!

The garlic shrimp is one of the easiest things in the world to make. It's all in the timing. Get everything ready to go ahead of time and that way, you can add it to the pan without having to run around the kitchen. Otherwise, you'll end up with rubbery overcooked shrimp, instead of the tender little morsels they are. This recipe is adapted from an old friend's recipe. It makes some sauce, and is great over pasta, or with crusty bread for mopping up the sauce. You can double everything but the shrimp if you want more sauce. It also makes an amazing pizza topping! Just remove them from the sauce, but save that for something else, like dipping your pizza crusts in!

Garlic Shrimp

5 or 6 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/3 cup white wine (you know the rule, use wine you'd actually drink!)
1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
coarse salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp butter
chopped parsley to garnish

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat, and add the garlic. Cook slowly for a minute or two to flavor the oil with garlic, but be careful not to burn it.
Add the red pepper flakes and increase the heat to medium high.
Add the wine and let this go for about a minute, then add the shrimp.
Season with salt.
Cook until the shrimp is almost done (this will only take a couple of minutes.)
Add the lemon juice and butter to finish the sauce.
Garnish with finely chopped parsley.

The chocolate cake was really good! It didn't look perfect--my cakes never do. But it was homemade and tasty. I used the recipe for Decadent Chocolate Cake from Whole Grain Gourmet. It was delicious! Not quite as fudgey...fudgy? fudge-like as I had hoped, but since we're trying to get more whole grains into our diet, we wanted to try this one. It was moist and dense though. It didn't taste whole grain at all, and the guests all loved it. It was topped with their ganache, as well. All in all, really good cake! And I managed to get one lamo shot. Be nice, I'm not the best when it comes to cake presentation!

So what did we do on Easter Sunday? We hit the road and went to the beach. It was so sunny and blue. A very nice change from the dirty gray snow that's left over, and the grass that's not yet lush and green.

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Pixie said...

Hi Elle, enjoyed reading this post. My hubby is in charge of making pizza too. Your cook looks better than my, look at the height. why oh why do i end up with flat cake!

Garlic Shrimp looks good and I would never have thought about having it as a pizza topping.

Elle said...

Pixie--I'm laughing because that's the first thing I said to myself when I took the cakes out of the pans! They rose up really well, and my usual ones are all uneven and sad looking, hehehe! Definitely a recipe to tinker with...

I would trade this one for yours with lemon curd, cherry preserves, and coconut in a heartbeat. Seriously. It looks amazing!

taste memory said...

hello there - i love the pictures...that looks similar to an area in boothbay maine, very beautiful....

the garlic shrimp looks perfect + i can probably eat them like jelly beans.

I am glad I came across your blog ~ will visit again!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

The garlic shrimp pizza sounds amazing!!! I am going to have to try that!

As a self-proclaimed New Englander (does living there by choice most of my adult life count??!!), I really love your blog about your New England kitchen! :)

Welcome to The Foodie Blogroll! :)

Kevin said...

That garlic shrimp looks really good. Shrimp with garlic, butter and lemon is so easy and yet so tasty!

Angie said...

Yum!! I love Red Lobster's shrimp scampi but when I attempted my version of it, it turned out rubbery. Now that I have your recipe, I'm gonna try it again. Note to self, do not over-cook!

Farida said...

Elle, the garlic shrimp looks great! We go shrimp scampi from Costco and honestly, your shrimp looks better. I will use your recipe to make my own shrimp (i never know what to do with it:)) thanks for posting. BTW, thanks for visiting my Zebra Cake:)

Flanboyant Eats said...

yeah i'll pass on the good looking shrimp since i don't do shellfish, but i'll devour the choco cake in a heartbeat!!! :)

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

Garlic shrimp....yum, I don't think I will have any left for the pizza topping...

Helen said...

Garlic shrimp are one of my absolute favourite dishes in the world. They look so delicious!!

Anonymous said...

Leftover ham is definitely one of my favorite things... get thee to the store and find one on sale!

Your shrimp looks awesome, but pass me a slice of that cake! Mmmm...

tinymango! said...

that's funny. my mother's boyfriend had a birthday on saturday night which i cooked for, in addition to making easter sunday. it was definately a lot of work on top of working all weekend and the holidays. blah. it might have been a good idea to skip cooking on easter.

one of my best friend's husband is named billy, so, i definately get that. lucky you for having a pizza expert husband ;)

and oh, how pretty your new england coast is. i live farther down the east coast, on the chesapeake bay. unfortunately, we've been having about the same weather as the upper eastern seaboard. i'm ready for spring!

Elle said...

Taste Memory--thank you so much for stooping by! I've only been to Boothbay once (it's a long drive!) but it was so, so gorgeous there.

Jenn--yeah, it counts! ;) If you live here, you're a New Englander, no way around it. Thank you for adding me to the Foodie Blogroll!

Kevin, it is really easy. It's a great way to get dinner on the table in just minutes.

Angie--you do have to be careful with them, they can go from done to rubber in seconds, hehe. Thanks for stopping by!

Farida--thanks for visiting! Your zebra cake is very cool, and I'm sure the kids would love it!

Flanboyant--I'll definitely share the cake! Would you like milk with that, or coffee?

Nina--I made the shrimp a couple hours before the party, and had to get it out of sight, or I'd have been sampling too much, for sure, hehe.

Helen--one of our favorites, too. Thanks for visiting!

Culinography--more cake, coming up! Going to track down a ham tomorrow...

Tinymango--I feel for you, with all of that cooking. Plus having to be on your best behavior while entertaining...sometimes you just want to let your hair down and put on your favorite pair of worn jeans and sit with your feet on the sofa.

I've always wanted to visit the Chesapeake Bay area! And I know--spring needs to get here already. We even had snow last night!

canarygirl said...

God, can knock me out with one shot every time. Pics that is! Pics! LOL I wish I had some shrimp to make right now...WAIT! Maybe I do! I have to check the freezer, because your scampi is making my mouth water. And that CAKE. Are you trying to kill me? I NEED that cake. It looks so luscious and beautiful and tall and dark and handsome....oh wait, what are we talking about? A guy? Cake? Well, it doesn't make any difference. I'd take cake over a guy any time. Unless it's *my* tdah guy. Then I want both. LOL XOXOXOXO

Elle said...

canarygirl--how about cake...on a guy! hahaha!!! ;)

canarygirl said...

See, Elle? Now you're talkin. :P

ginny said...

"Cake....on a guy" haha!!! Elle, thanks to you, we have tonight's dinner menu planned out! I can hardly wait!

Elle said...

ginny--are you saying what I think you're saying? Wow, won't M be surprised when he finds out the cake's on him. ;)

Hope you enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

Oh might God! Look at these shrimps!...they look so... shrimpy!
I'm kicking myself for not having a pound or two in the fridge right now! :-)

Neen said...

gaw, that garlic shrimp looks AMAZING. mmm. Just get some nice rustic dipping bread and I'll be so very happy :) This may be on my list of things to eat this weekend!

ginny said...

Elle, YUM! We had the shrimpies over angel hair pasta (gf, of course) two nights ago. That was YUM dinner number one. Last night we put the rest of the shrimp in quesadillas inspired by your previous quesadilla post. YUM dinner number two! And M & I give the quesadilla maker a 'two thumbs up'!!! Thank you!

Pixie said...

omg coming back rereading my comment- i need to seriously, reread before posting- your cook looks better than my? lmao

Elle said...

zen--are you saying my shrimp are small? hehehe.

neen--thank so much! And oh yeah, it's just screaming for some good bread!

Ginny--thanks! I'm so glad you liked them and that your happy with your quesadillas! muac!

pixie--I totally knew what you meant--no worries. You should see some of the stuff I write before editing. hahaha!

Anonymous said...

Excellent recipe. For such a sophisticated meal I highly recommend trying the extra-virgin olive oil from Holy Food Imports.
It is imported to the US from Israel, and it is produced using cold presses. I always use HFI olive oil for my fancy recipes and I find that it really does enhance the flavor.

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