Monday, February 13, 2012

shrimp and asparagus with garlicky lemon butter sauce - now with a real recipe!

This is very easily one of my favorite things I've cooked since I started this blog, and I just totally made it up as I went along so I'm super proud of myself!

I started with some butter in a pan, added a couple cloves of chopped garlic, and added a big bunch of asparagus that I had rinsed and chopped into 3rds. After a few minutes, I added about a cup of white wine, some salt, black pepper, and the juice and zest of one Meyer lemon. I tossed the shrimp into the pan (I had a bag of frozen peeled raw shrimp that I'd thawed and taken the tails off earlier) and let it all cook for 3-4 minutes until the shrimp just started to turn opaque. I added another small pat of butter to thicken the sauce up a bit, then spooned it over some spaghetti squash I'd prepared previously.

The combination of lemon, garlic and butter is one of my favorite tastes anyway, but the slight sweet nuttiness of the spaghetti squash and the shrimp elevated the sauce to another level. It was really good, and I'll definitely be making it again!

2/14/2012 NOTE:

Due to several requests, I have cobbled together an actual recipe for this meal, found below. Just in case you're a measure-y type of person. ;) I'm doing this from memory way after the fact, so if you follow this to the letter and it explodes into a pile of epic suckitude, I apologize.

Shrimp and asparagus with garlicky lemon butter sauce

1 lb of UNCOOKED, peeled & de-veined shrimp (I took the tails off mine before cooking but you don't have to)
1 large bunch of asparagus, trimmed of woody bits and chopped into 3rds.
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup white wine (I used chardonnay)
zest of 1 Meyer lemon
juice of 1 Meyer lemon
3 cloves of garlic (or more, to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
3 - 4 cups of prepared spaghetti squash (or pasta if you like) - directions below!

Melt 1 Tbsp of butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic, let cook for about a minute or until fragrant. Be careful not to burn garlic - if it seems like it's cooking super quick, turn your damn heat down a little.

Add wine, lemon juice, a little salt, and asparagus to pan, tossing / stirring to coat. Let cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes, until asparagus starts to soften just slightly.

Add shrimp to pan, toss to coat, cook for 3-4 minutes until shrimp JUST BARELY begins to look opaque and pale pink.

Add lemon zest, black pepper and 2 tbsp of butter, mix well, cook another 3-4 minutes until asparagus is tender and shrimp is done (it will be totally opaque when it's done). Taste sauce for seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve mixture over 1 cup of prepared spaghetti squash.

To prepare spaghetti squash:

There are multiple ways to do it. I prefer the quick method, which is to wash and halve a small to medium spaghetti squash, scoop out the seeds and pulp, add a few tablespoons of water to the cavity in each half, place halves on a plate / microwave-safe baking dish, add another tablespoon or so of water to the plate / baking dish, and microwave on high for about 20 minutes. You'll be able to tell when it's done by drawing a fork along the inside of the squash - if it comes off in spaghetti-like shreds, it's done! Carefully remove from the microwave, drain any remaining water, and use a fork to scrape the flesh of the squash out. I usually wear an oven mitt on one hand, hold the squash, and scrape the flesh into a bowl with the other hand, since I'm impatient and can't handle waiting for it to cool. The flesh can be further drained via a fine-mesh strainer or a colander lined with a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth if it seems really watery.