Thursday, July 22, 2010

Peppery Garlic Prawns

When you are always on the lookout for new recipes to try, certain foods/recipe titles grab your attention more than others. For me, pasta, seafood, cheese, desserts, and certain fruits and vegetables are major attention grabbers. When I’m looking for things I know Stan will like, garlic, black pepper, and meat are major players. Not surprisingly, when I came across this recipe for peppery garlic prawns, I knew I had to try it.

Prawns (aka shrimp) are one of my from-the-ocean favorites, and I’m pretty sure Stan has never met a garlic-laden dish he didn’t like. During the past year, we both have come to love black pepper, so making this dish was pretty much a no-brainer. The fact that this dish requires only about 5 minutes of active prep time (if your shrimp are already peeled) and 3 minutes to cook? Yeah, I’m pretty sure there’s no beating that.

All you do is toss raw shrimp (tail on or off – your choice) with a lot of minced garlic, crushed or coarsely ground black pepper, some salt, lemon juice, and brandy. That’s right, brandy. The stuff you swirl around in snifters and sip slowly. Or, if your husband happens to be Russian like mine, you might occasionally drink shots of it while toasting special occasions. Even if you don’t drink it, brandy is worth keeping on hand for culinary purposes. It adds a special flavor to certain dishes – different than wine or sherry. For this dish, it is worth seeking out, even if you only get a tiny bottle. But really, how much fun would that be?

Peppery Garlic Shrimp
Adapted from Simply Recipes

1 lb. raw medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined (tails on or off)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper, crushed or coarsely ground
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 T. brandy
1 T. olive oil
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped

Pat the shrimp dry and place in a medium bowl.

Add the garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and brandy. Stir well to coat the shrimp evenly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To cook the shrimp, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp mixture. Cook, tossing frequently, until the shrimp turn pink and opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes. (Be careful not the overcook the shrimp or they will be rubbery.)

Serve immediately, garnished with the chopped parsley.

Serves 2 to 3 as a main dish, 4 as an appetizer.

Serving Suggestion:
For a main dish, try serving the shrimp over rice or a thin pasta like angel air. You could also serve the shrimp over steamed or stir-fried vegetables for a low-carb dinner.

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