Friday, April 2, 2010
The I-Don't-Want-to-Cook-But-I-Have-to Dinner
Janet here: Much as I enjoy cooking, there are certainly days when I walk in the house, exhausted, and all I want is for dinner to magically appear. And while I love, love, love my man, Peter, with the exception of going out to dinner (we don't live in a take-out or deliver-in area, sadly), if I don't cook it, we don't eat. It's one reason why I find a man who cooks so hot — only in my mind of course.
Anyway, it's good to have a couple of go-to, fast recipes for days like these. This one from Ellie Krieger's So Easy is just that. If you have pasta and frozen shrimp on hand, all you've got to do is add a little basil and a tomato and you are good to go.
What's your I-Don't-Want-to-Cook-But-I-Have-To dinner?
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 pounds large shrimp (20-25 per pound) peeled and deveined (I keep a pound frozen in my freezer all the time just for nights like this.)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
3/4 cup dry white whine
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup finely-chopped fresh basil (I used dried and it was fine)
3 cups cooked orzo pasta
Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet until not but not smoking. Add the shrimp and cook, turning once, until just cooked, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.
Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the oil and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the wine and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stire in the tomatoes and basil and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Return the shrimp to the pan and cook until just heated through. Serve with the orzo.
Added idea: a little crumbled feta works very well with this combination.
Rachel here: Oh, fast dinner. On those days that feel interminable, dinner can feel like the last great mountain to climb before release. As I head into my last few weeks of school, I anticipate more and more of those (in addition to feeling more and more exhausted as this baby grows). Anyway, I keep vowing to make a big batch of pasta sauce (because homemade pasta sauce is far superior to store-bought) to have on hand for evenings such as this but, alas, it hasn't happened yet. And so, this week I've turned to my tried-and-true friend, the quesadilla. See my take on this quick and easy staple here. How do you navigate this type of evening?