My sister recently asked me for my current fave shrimp recipe, and I had an instant answer for her: Melissa Clark’s shrimp scampi, found on The New York Times website. Joie was hunting for shrimp dishes because, as she said, they were only recently back in her life and she kept forgetting that they were once again an option. Having moved from Sweden to California in the fall, she’s still getting used to having non-mini shrimp at every grocery store. I’m not sure if she took this particular Melissa Clark advice–she was a smidge more interested in trying yet another Melissa Clark shrimp hit–but just suggesting it to her was enough to make me need to make this dish again my self. It’s fast as a weeknight dinner can be, delicious, and oh so easy. This makes three MC shrimp recipes I’ve loved enough to blog about, and the third time is just as charmed as the first two.
I’ve talked before about my sister’s ability to find awesome recipes, and about her “keeper” board on Pinterest. I’m always psyched to see a recipe move from her general food board over to “keeper,” because that means she’s tried it and loved it. When I saw a recipe for shrimp and grits make the move I was especially excited, since shrimp and grits is one of my very favorite foods and one that I had never cooked myself. And I was especially especially excited because I knew regular ole shrimps have been a little hard to come by in her Swedish life. Strange, right? She says they’re getting easier to find, but during her first year-ish in Sweden when she went looking for shrimp she mostly found the wee little salad variety–and they are EVERYWHERE, including on top of hot dogs–but had a harder time finding the kind of I can grab so easily in the grocery store. So I knew that if she had found a keeper recipe worth tracking down shrimp for, it was gonna be good.
When Laura and I were together last week, one of the (millions!) of things we talked about is how hard we sometimes find weeknight meal planning. And not even large scale let’s figure out the whole week meal planning, but the much more basic what’s for dinner tonight?!? question. We marveled at how our mothers managed to just DO IT, seemingly without the angst that we both feel sometimes. We talked about the weird combo of things that make planning tricky, and did some brainstorming about what can make it easier. One of the things that definitely helps me is having a growing roster of simple weeknight dinners that don’t require too many ingredients or take very long to cook, that I can decide to make in an afternoon and shop for quickly on the way home. Shrimp is the star ingredient in several of our favorite dinners like this, and I’m very happy to add another to the list: hot honey shrimp.
Have you seen the news that Ina Garten has a new cookbook coming out, this one framed around her relationship with her husband Jeffrey? I’m not even embarrassed to admit that I gasped out loud when Laura clued me in, and I think most if not all Ina fans probably felt similarly. I also think most if not all Ina fans could make a convincing argument that all of her previous cookbooks have been about her relationship with Jeffrey, but to have one totally truly devoted to it? Be still my heart! There’s a lot to love about this particular marriage, from the gorgeous Hamptons house to the sweet food related gestures to the annual trips to Paris to the props they got on 30 Rock, but what I like best is how genuinely–aspirationally!–delighted by each other they seem after so many years together. I am so looking forward to this new book, especially since I’m confident that it will be full of more genuinely delightful recipes like this one, for baked shrimp scampi.
This is the kind of recipe I so need right now. Fast, lots of tastiness for little effort, relatively healthy, simple, and easily customizable. A perfect contrast to the complicated and heavy and meaning-laden dishes that I love at this time of year, but don’t always have the energy or the time for. This is perfect weeknight cooking. Or maybe perfect weekend cooking, on a particular weekend when you’re feeling done with a certain collection of leftovers, and ready for a whole new set of flavors? This recipe, for coconut curry with shrimp and piles of vegetables, has got you covered.
In my line of work, there are endless getting to know you games. We cover all manner of things: nicknames, pets, siblings, hometowns, family traditions, and any number of favorites. Favorite movie, class, spot in NYC, childhood tv show, book, food. I love learning all of these things about my students, but I especially love hearing them talk about food (no big surprise there). This semester, a student had one of the best answers I’ve heard in a while to the favorite food question: soup. When pressed for specifics the student stuck to their guns. Just soup. All kinds. I thought this was such a great work-around for what has often struck me as an impossible question. With just one word room was made for savory and sweet, hot and cold, and all sorts of tastes and textures. We paused our go round to talk about favorite soups for a while, and I offered up corn cowder as one of the best.
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling the pinch of not having enough time between holidays this year. Usually there’s a bit more space to catch my breath and re-calibrate after Thanksgiving and before diving into Christmas prep. Not this year. This year I feel like I got back to Brooklyn after a wonderful holiday in Virginia and hit the ground running–it’s time to track down presents, to deck the halls, and to make cookies. As much as I love this time of year (I love it even more than this, which is just one of the Christmas movies my family watches annually), I’m feeling more than a little stressed and pressed. In a mood like this it’s all too easy to turn to delivery for dinner (and oh my heavens, do we ever), though I know that I feel better and even more relaxed when I take the time to make something. To get me to actually cook right now, that something better be simple and quick…and a little healthy wouldn’t hurt, to combat all of the holiday cheer. Enter roasted shrimp and broccoli.