Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Edition - Shrimp fra diavolo

For Valentine's Day I decided to make one of my girlfriend's favorite dishes - shrimp fra diavolo. This shrimp dish has a little bit of a kick thanks to the crushed red pepper. I've done this dish over both pasta and creamy polenta. My preference is to mix it with thin spaghetti, which is what I did this time.

The recipe I'm using for this comes from the Food Network's Giada DiLaurentiis. Of all the chef's on the food network I've had the most success using Giada's recipes, though Tyler Florence, Rachel Ray, Ina Garten, Emeril and the Neeley's have some great stuff too.

The original recipe calls for fresh herbs, which because of time constraints I didn't have available. This recipe still works well with dried herbs. The rule for converting from fresh to dried is that 1 tablespoon fresh herbs = 1 teaspoon dried herbs. Or in this case 3 tablespoons fresh herbs = 3 teaspoons dried herbs.

1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined
1 teaspoon salt, plus additional as needed
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons
1 medium onion, sliced
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup dry white wine
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 tablespoon dried Italian parsley leaves
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves

1. Toss the shrimp in a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of salt and red pepper flakes.
2. Heat the 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and saute for about a minute, toss, and continue cooking until just cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a large plate; set aside.

3. Add the onion to the same skillet, adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan, if necessary, and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the tomatoes with their juices, wine, garlic, and oregano.Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.

5. Return the shrimp and any accumulated juices to the tomato mixture; toss to coat, and cook for about a minute so the flavors meld together. 
6. Stir in the parsley and basil. Season with more salt, to taste, and serve.

The Results:
With a little help from Giada I have a very happy girlfriend this Valentine's Day. This is one of the most consistently successful recipes I've found since I got into cooking. Its simple but full of flavor. The spice isn't overpowering, but the crushed red pepper gives it a nice kick. I wouldn't recommend it if you don't like onions, but otherwise its a great option. Its quick, easy and relatively inexpensive to make.

Coming up next time......something without noodles!

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