Saturday, May 31, 2008

Why I enjoy cooking so much more than baking

Long before I ever really took an interest in cooking or subscribed to the plethora of cooking magazines that I do now, I had to occasionally throw a meal together for a date, or parents, etc. I usually cooked something fairly simple, or done from memory. Stirfrys were a favorite, as was a piece of seabass or salmon on the grill with some mango salsa. But, the key to any of this 'cooking', was that there was. no. measuring! To this day, I can't bake, because I hate measuring and following explicit directions. I'm a rebel that way.

This simple shrimp sautee is a dish I came up with at over 12 years ago, trying to replicate something I had ordered at the Redwood Room in Rochester, MN. It is still one of my favorite "go to" dinners when I want something easy, and satisfying. Of course, the theme of this is use what you have in the refrigerator, and don't worry about measuring. The recipe that I include is of course, an estimate of amounts. The basis of the flavor is wine, butter and chicken broth, but the capers or kalamatta olives can give another dimension. Top with a sprinkling of fresh basil or chives, and spoon over rice, grits, or pasta and you'll have a delicious dinner, in less than 20 minutes.
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Sauteed Shrimp and Vegetables over Feta Grits

(remember all amounts are estimates)

1 lb peeled and cleaned raw shrimp
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 chicken or vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 medium onion, minced
1 small tomato, diced or 1/2 cup grape tomatoes halved
feta or parmesan cheese (about 1/3 cup)
optional- capers, olives, articokes, splash of half and half

Heat skillet over medium high heat. Put in butter and melt, add garlic and onion and cook 2-3 minutes. Add wine and chicken broth and let cook for 5 minutes until slightly reduced. Add shrimp, tomatoes, wine, and any optional ingredients. When shrimp is done, take pan off heat and add cheeses and fresh herbs.

For Grits: make according to package instructions, in the last minute of two of the cooking time, add about 1/3 cup feta or goat cheese.

We served this with the Bridlewood Viognier. It may have gone better with a pinot grigio or albarino, but oh, how I love viogier! Especially when it is not overly oaked or cloyingly sweet. This had a beautiful bouquet that when taking a wiff was like a treat in itself. Mmm...almost seductive!


Anonymous said...

I am so with you on the baking thing! The only thing I make that I have to measure is my pizza dough. That's it! This dish is great. I love simple, fast and healthy go to dishes like this.

Anonymous said...

Love the Bridlewood Viognier...what's happening to us with all these white wines?