I'm proud of this meal for a few reasons:
1. I peeled and deveined one pound of fresh shrimp in about 12 minutes. Woot.
2. I found yet another use for the glorious ingredient that is avocado.
3. I had everything timed just right for Doc's arrival.
4. I had most of the kitchen cleaned up before we ate.
5. I got a cook's perfect compliment: Doc went back for seconds.
If you are looking for a relatively easy and time efficient meal that will impress your own Doc, I encourage you to go for this one. The shrimp, other than the ickiness of peeling and deveining, were DELICIOUS, and you can make them hours, even a couple of days, in advance. Since the shrimp's flavors are relatively basic, you can add them to most any dish, perhaps serving them as an appetizer with some sort of dipping sauce. And the pasta...oh my. The combination of avocado and arugula was absolutely perfect, not to mention beautifully green. The pesto uses lime juice for the requisite acidity, plus it prevents the oxidation of the avocado. I made some substitutions here and there, and other than burning the sliced almonds in the oven (a common kitchen foible of mine), everything went off without a hitch. Both recipes are keepers, and hopefully the almonds will make it in there next time. I do think they'd add a nice texture contrast.
Oh, and for the first time, I've created a printer-friendly version of these recipes thanks to Google Docs (located at the bottom of this post).
Grilled Herb Shrimp
slightly adapted from Ina Garten
1 pound large shrimp (16-20), peeled and deveined but with tails on
1 1/2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium yellow onion, small-diced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
- Combine all ingredients and allow them to marinate for 1 hour at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- Skewer the shrimp, 3-4 on a 12-inch skewer for dinner. Heat a grill pan on medium high heat and brush with additional oil to prevent sticking. Grill the shrimp for only 1 1/2 minutes per side. (I had to do this step in two batches).
Linguine with Avocado Arugula Pestoslightly adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
1 pound linguine pasta
2 medium avocados, halved, peeled and seeded (about 12 ounces total)
3 cups baby arugula leaves (3 ounces)
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 large limes)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup quattro formaggio cheese blend (or grated Parmesan)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, approximately 8-10 minutes. Drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Place in a serving bowl.
- Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh from the avocados and place in a food processor. Add the arugula, basil, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
- Pour the pesto over the pasta and toss together. Add the cheese and toss together until coated, adding the pasta water, as needed, to loosen the sauce.
Printer friendly: Grilled Herb Shrimp & Linguine with Avocado Arugula Pesto