At an undisclosed location under the sea, the members of the Spotted Prawn Association of Totally Yummy Cuisine (SPATYC), met and discussed ways in which they could be even more delicious than they already are. A brief transcript, secured by rather questionable means, has somehow miraculously been “found” and published for the first time on this blog. As you will soon become aware, this transcript offers incredible insight into this little-known society and its many tasty contributions:
President of SPATYC: Everyone, I think we can all agree that we are naturally delicious, just as we are, but chefs and home cooks will always continue to dip us in batter, fry us, and pour cream sauces all over us. . .
Treasurer of SPATYC: For crying out loud—just a squeeze of lemon! Just lemon is all it takes!
President of SPATYC: Now, calm down. Yes—I agree. Ever since we sent Bill over there up to the surface to find a lemon and bring it back. . .
Bill, head of the SPATYC Research Committee: I remember that day—you all squeezed that thing everywhere—wearing it like perfume. If I recall—you—and let the record show that I’m waving my antennae at you, Mr. President—you licked me.
President of SPATYC: Everyone—quit interrupting me! And by the way, Bill, that day was the nicest you’ve ever smelled—ever. Seriously, though. I’ve heard that other fresh ingredients, like lemon—and, wait for it—cherry tomatoes . . .
(Loud gasps—prawns are shouting: “What’s a tomato? Tomato? It sounds scary, as in ‘I hope a tomato lands on your house with you and your family in it!’ Who would want that?”)
President of SPATYC: Tomatoes are not evil creatures, unless they get a whiff of Bill over there—then, that’s the end of it—that’s when they grow horns and tear our tails off.
Bill: I am so sick of your bullying. If you don’t knock it off, you can find yourself another research committee leader—go up there to the surface yourself and get a lemon.
(More loud gasps, prawns are whispering, “How dare he!”)
President of SPATYC: Well, Bill, relax. I’ve got a tomato right here that I’ve already begun to sample and, I think, with our delicious-tasting flesh, this tomato offers another bright note.
(Sounds of prawns sampling the tomato, making “mmm” noises and saying, “Tomatoes aren’t scary!”)
*End of Transcript*
I’m not proud of the things I had to do to get this rare transcript (i.e. find words that rhyme with “computer,” read data security policies and take a quiz later, wash a load of sheets, and take Bill the Stinky Prawn to a doctor’s appointment), but I’m glad to have done those things just to have a new recipe because I’ve been running out of ideas.
You see, we had another “rare” snowstorm last week, but I was prepared with hot dogs and boxes of macaroni and cheese. These things can be heated up quickly, before the power goes out—or even while the power is out, on the grill outside. However, a meal of hot dogs and boxed macaroni products gets old after a while. Inevitably, the following kind of dinner conversation is a result:
Me: How’s the meal tonight?
Family: Well, it’s done.
Now that the snow is gone, I’d like to have a meal that is better than “done.” So, I made a shrimp and tomato pasta that was refreshingly cleaner and brighter tasting than food in a box.
Ingredients: (For three people)
–1 tablespoon of olive oil
— 1 tsp minced garlic
–2/3 of a 10-ounce package of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
–1/4 of an onion, chopped
— 1 ½ tablespoons of capers
–sea salt—to taste
–ground black pepper—to taste
–12-16 shrimp, peeled, and deveined
–4 cups of chicken broth
–12-oz box of penne pasta
–half of a large lemon—cut in half
–1/4 cup of Italian parsley, chopped
–Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, tomatoes, capers, and onions. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook only 3-5 minutes and set aside.
–Heat the chicken broth in a saucepan. Once the broth begins to boil, place the shrimp into the broth and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Then, remove the shrimp from the broth and set it aside.
–Boil the pasta in salted water and drain. Return the pasta to the pot in which you boiled the pasta.
–Squeeze one half of the lemon into the pasta and mix it through. Add a touch of sea salt and ground black pepper.
–Place the shrimp into the tomato/onion mixture in the saucepan and lightly warm everything together—without overcooking the shrimp—maybe just a minute or so.
–Using the other half of the lemon, squeeze lemon juice over the top of shrimp/tomato mixture in the saucepan.
–Combine the shrimp/tomato mixture with the penne pasta and serve with chopped parsley as a garnish. This dish can also be served with Parmesan cheese on top.
The resulting dish had lots of bright flavors, which were a welcome change. Nate and I both agree that the shrimp should have just been cooked in the saucepan with the tomatoes, rather than boiled in the broth first, but the broth did add a little extra flavor to the shrimp. Alex thought the dish was perfect as is. And, since I rarely cook shrimp, he even offered to help.
On a side-note, I’m not quite sure how this happened, but I think that Bill, the Head of the Research Committee for the Spotted Prawn Association of Totally Yummy Cuisine (SPATYC), ended up in this dish. He smelled and tasted absolutely glorious. Looking back, I wouldn’t do anything differently—I’d drive Bill the Stinky Prawn to the doctor’s office all over again, while listening to podcasts of data security policies.
Your Turn: What’s your favorite dish that you’ve made over the past week?