Friday, October 9, 2009

Lemon-Parmesan Shrimp

While I try to incorporate fish into our diet, I find it a splurge. Nowhere else do I purchase ingredients that cost more than $10/lb. We usually have fish once a week, and I will occasionally rotate shrimp into our meals. I realize that shrimp is not really "fish" in the healthful sense, but our kids like it and it is a very versatile ingredient. When I first tried "domestic" shrimp (usually harvested on the gulf coast), I did not really enjoy the different texture and flavor, plus they are rarely deveined (yuck). But, with a little extra work, domestic shrimp are typically larger, have a meatier texture, and I feel a little better ingesting [a bottom feeder] from US waters rather than the largely unregulated waters of the Pacific southeast. Please don't tell Rob I suggest regulation of anything! But really, when you're already consuming a bottom-feeder, I think it is important to feel confident about the quality of the water in which your food is living.
Either way, Giant had these gorgeous and large domestic shrimp on sale for $8.99/lb and I purchased some with the intent to make some kind of pasta. Instead I decided to re-create a dish that I'd made while we were on vacation this summer. We vacation on the gulf coast of Florida for a few weeks every summer and try to enjoy the locally harvested seafood as much as possible during our stay.
This dish cooks quickly and is very light-tasting. As a compromise [for our carbivore daughters], I made fettucine alfredo as a side! Steamed green beans or broccoli would be a perfect complement.

Lemon-Parmesan Shrimp
1 1/2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
parmesan cheese
rind of 2 lemons
olive oil
fresh herbs: oregano, parsley, basil (slivered)
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
juice of 2 lemons

1. Sprinkle bread crumbs and parmesan on a baking dish (I always spray every pan I use with non-stick spray).
2. Lay shrimp over crumbs and top with fresh herbs, more panko and parmesan, minced garlic, and lemon rind.
3. Drizzle olive oil over shrimp and place a few small pats of butter on top of the shrimp.
4. Bake at 400 degrees (on the top rack) for 20 minutes or until shrimp are pink and bread crumb mixture is golden.
5. Sprinkle shrimp with lemon juice right before serving.

Fettucine Alfredo (this is definitely a splurge, calorically)
3/4 lb of fettucine, al dente
1/2 stick butter
garlic powder
1/2 cup heavy cream
plenty of parmesan cheese
fresh chives, finely chopped
fresh ground pepper

In a large non-stick pan, melt butter and add the rest of the ingredients, adding the [still hot] pasta and stirring to cook for an additional minute or until the flavors fully incorporate.

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