Monday, June 21, 2010

Herbed Shrimp with Asparagus


I know I've been a little M.I.A. lately and there's good reason for it.  Promise.  I can't let the cat out of the bag yet but something BIG is going on in our life right now and there are BIG changes ahead for us in the very near future!  If you're friends with me on the nest, then you probably already know what I'm referring to.  For those of you who aren't and don't, it looks like you'll just have to wait a teensy bit longer.  Haha...sorry guys!

Anyhoo....this BIG thing has been taking up a lot of time for me lately and I honestly haven't had much time to spend in the kitchen and I really haven't even felt like cooking.  Shocking, I know!  It's been so hot here and unbearable at times and the thought of heating the kitchen up with the stove or oven or even worse: going outside to work over a hot grill is just the furthest thing from my list of priorities and wants.  Yes, we have A/C but even on the hottest days, it sometimes doesn't feel like it's on.  But you get a reality check as soon as you walk inside from being outside and then you's on!

With it being Father's Day this past weekend and us actually being home, I thought it would be nice to make a nice dinner after church on Sunday.  I wasn't sure I'd feel up to it as some you may know, I lost my Dad unexpectedly in February so it's definitely been taking it's toll on me over the past couple of weeks in anticipation of this now dreaded holiday.  I still have my Step Dad, Bruce, who is a wonderful father in my life and has been since I was 2, but nothing and no one will ever replace my Dad.  One thing that's for sure, though, is our shared love for cooking (and eating) and I know he would've wanted me to carry on with my day like any other and cook a fabulous dinner.  So in honor of him, I did!  And let me tell how fabulous this was.  I cannot wait for lunch today because that means leftovers and I don't remember being this excited for leftovers in a long time...I'm practically squealing like a little pig!

So this recipe comes from, yet again, my favorite cookbook: Grand Temptations.  I've been eyeing it for a while now and everytime I have shrimp to use up, I think I'm going to make it and then I find something else wonderful to cook (ahem...these Creamy Shrimp & Grits and Creamy Shrimp & Pasta are definitely culprits)!  I almost did it again this weekend, but I stopped myself and said, "Self, you've been wanting to make this recipe for a long time, so stop with the nonsense and get on with it!"  And I am SO glad I did!  Despite the butter and creaminess of the shrimp, it's actually a very light and flavorful dish and the asparagus...I don't think I've cooked asparagus that perfect in, well, never!  I steamed it and then schocked it in ice water to retain a nice and tender crunch and that beautiful green color.  The combination of the light asparagus with the creamy shrimp was ahhh-mazing!  So, so good! 

Herbed Shrimp with Asparagus

1- Lg. bunch Asparagus
1/3 cup Olive Oil
1/4 Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1lb. Large Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup Flour
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp. Fresh Basil, chopped
2 Tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup Unsalted Butter
2 Tbsp. Butter, melted

Place the asparagus in a pot of boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.  Remove and place in a bowl of ice water - This process is called "shocking" and it actually helps to stop the cooking process and leaves vegetables nice and tender and gives them a nice, vibrant color.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat.  Add in the onion and garlic; saute' until tender (about 2 minutes). 

In a medium bowl, dust the shrimp with flour until evenly coated.  Add the shrimp into the skillet and saute' until it turns pink (about 3 minutes).  Add in the stock, parsley, basil and salt and pepper to taste; mix well.  Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add in the tomatoes and 1/4 cup butter.  Cook just until the tomatoes begin to soften and the butter melts, stirring frequently.

Arrange the asparagus on plates and brush with the warm, melted butter.  Spoon the shrimp mixture over the asparagus and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 Servings
Source: Adapted from Grand Temptations


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