Free for All Friday: Garlic-Chile Shrimp

So remember Monday’s recipe: Cheddar Cauliflower Soup? And how I got that from the Feb/March 2009 issue of Fine Cooking?

Well when I was planning out the weekly menu, I chose two recipes from that issue. I could’ve chosen all my meal plans from there, but I didn’t want my other magazines or my creativity to feel like I was favoring Fine Cooking (admission: I favor it anyway).

This is another shrimp recipe, as I find shrimp ridiculously easy to make and equally easy to not mess up. I texted my sister after making it, basically praising myself for an amazing dinner (though let’s be honest, all credit has to go to Fine Cooking) and she told me something that will haunt me forever:

I don’t eat shrimp

Um…what?! Who doesn’t eat shrimp? (don’t get all smart-ass with me and say vegetarians. In my world, vegetarians and vegans cheat when it comes to shellfish).

Anyway, this recipe will make you a shrimp lover. You might have to be force-fed it initially, but after one shrimp, you’ll be like “Thank you, Melissa, for assaulting me with shrimp. It’s actually the best thing ever.”

I only snapped one shot, as my camera batteries were “exhausted.”

Sidenote to ponder: How come when I’m exhausted a sign doesn’t flash to everyone and then I’m able to just shut down? Why do cameras get special treatment?

Salt and Pepper Shrimp with Garlic and Chile

Pair this shrimp with some brown rice, quinoa, steamed veggies or toss it in your favorite stir fry. We were gluttons and ate it with sinfully delicious rice pilaf from a box. Oh yeah, we went gourmet.

Happy Friday everyone! Use this recipe for some leisurely weekend cooking 🙂

Salt-and-Pepper Shrimp with Garlic and Chile

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • Pinch of Chinese five-spice powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper
  • 5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 4 large scallions (green parts only), sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 1/2 lb. large shrimp (26-30 per lb.), peeled and deveined, tails left on
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp. peanut or canola oil
  • 1 small lime, cut into 4 wedges

How It’s Done

  1. In a large bowl, mix the cornstarch, sugar, five-spice powder, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. In a small bowl, mix the garlic, chile and scallions; set aside.
  2. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Line a small baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels.
  3. Add the shrimp to the cornstarch mixture and toss until evenly and thoroughly coated.
  4. In a heavy-duty 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 1/2 Tbsp. of the oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Add half the shrimp in a single layer.
  5. Cook without disturbing until deep golden and spotty brown on one side, about 2 minutes.
  6. Using tongs, quickly flip each shrimp and continue to cook until the second sides are spotty golden brown, about 1 minute longer (The shrimp may not be cooked through at this point.)
  7. Transfer the shrimp to the prepared baking sheet.
  8. Add another 1 Tbsp. of the oil to the skillet and repeat with the remaining shrimp, transferring them to the sheet when done.
  9. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to the skillet. Add the garlic mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the chile and scallions are softened and the garlic is golden and smells toasted, about 1 minute.
  10. Return the shrimp to the pan and toss.
  11. Serve immediately, with the lime wedges.
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