Trouble With Toast

Recipe: Garlic Basil Shrimp | August 18, 2009

While my fiance and I may disagree on fish–how often to eat it, whether to eat the skin, whether to serve it whole, et cetera–we can usually agree on shellfish.  We both love shrimp, which is convenient while dieting because it is a fairly healthy protein (it IS somewhat high in cholesterol, but we are fortunate that we don’t have problems in that area).  This shrimpy recipe called out to me because of its relatively short (and staple-centric) ingredient list and its quick preparation.  Perfect for a weeknight dinner!

If you are trying to cook on a budget, I highly recommend scanning the supermarket sale fliers and grabbing bags of frozen shrimp when they are on sale.  The ones in the fish case are usually previously frozen anyway (unless you happen to live by the water and/or have a VERY good fishmonger), so you might as well save some money, right?

As for what to serve with this dish, I went with orzo and it worked nicely.  You could use any sort of pasta you like, or you could go with the rice family of carbohydrates.  Even couscous would work, I think.  The key is, don’t pick a starch (or a side veggie, for that matter) that is going to overpower the beautiful fresh flavors of the basil and the tomatoes and the garlic.  They are the stars of this show!

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds large shrimp (20 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute shrimp, turning over once, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.

    Add garlic and red pepper flakes to the oil remaining in skillet and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add wine and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in basil and tomatoes and season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Return the shrimp to pan and cook just until heated through.

    Garlic basil shrimp



    1. This looks lovely, and easy, and now we know where you stand regarding the tails-on vs. tails-off debate.

      Comment by restaurant refugee — August 18, 2009 @ 1:58 pm

    2. Thanks! And actually, I can go with tails on or off (depends on the dish), but fiance is the kind of person who does not want any evidence on his plate that his dinner was once alive. So, no tails or heads when I’m cooking for him.

      Comment by bettyjoan — August 18, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

    3. Seriously? Did you pass on the opportunity to say “you can go both ways?”

      Comment by restaurant refugee — August 18, 2009 @ 5:21 pm

    4. This is one of the best and easiest shrimp recipes around. I usually do it without basil, and in less than 10 minutes.

      PS: I have published a huge collection of shrimp recipes, feel free to browse!

      Comment by Fast Recipes — August 19, 2009 @ 9:15 am

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