It just became one of those nights. My husband was away at work and I was hanging out with my kids. They requested chicken nuggets and I served them. Putting the frozen treats along side some cherry tomatoes and strawberries made me feel a bit less guilty.
As for my dinner, I was dependent on my pantry and freezer to bring me something delightful – a sort of personal “Chopped” show in my small kitchen. I wanted to create something delicious, and easy, but the basket was not full of delights like the infamous show. After weeding through 3 month old ground beef in the freezer that looked like it had been caught in a snowstorm, I found a half bag of Trader Joe’s Cooked Frozen Shrimp and immediately thawed those puppies in my colander.
I grabbed a bag of Long Grain White rice from my pantry but forgot it had a giant whole in it and suddenly my floor looked like a 1970’s wedding recessional. I cleaned up the floor…once again and still I managed to put 2 cups of water into a medium pan and brought it to a boil. Once it was rolling I added 1 Cup of the rice, stirred, lowered the heat to simmer and covered for 20 minutes.
While those little shrimps were chilling and the rice was going, I minced some fresh garlic, 2 cloves to be exact. Once the shrimp were defrosted I got out a medium sized saucepan and drizzled about 1 Tablespoon of Basil Infused Olive Oil in it and put it on Medium High heat. After about a minute, I dropped in the minced garlic and gave her a swirl. Another minute later I grabbed the shrimps and dropped them in, tossed them in the sauce a bit and added 1 Cup of Store Bought Marinara Sauce. I brought them up to a boil and then down to a simmer.
The rice was perfect after 20 minutes, I spooned about 1/2 cup into a shallow bowl, topped it with a couple of spoonfuls of shrimp and sauce, then topped it with some fresh Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Greek Oregano Feta cheese I had in the fridge from Aris Food in Hawthorne. My mother bought it for me at a Farmer’s Market this weekend, and in my opinion, everything tastes better with feta on it, especially when it is from Aris Food.
So after about 30 minutes including prep, defrost, wedding rice clean-up and gloriously finding a glass of La Crema Chardonnay in my fridge…I created a tasty, easy dish: Shrimp with Rice in a garlic, tomato sauce, topped with feta cheese.
I hope you find some of these items in your pantry, freezer, or at your local grocery, because nothing tastes better than food made from love and a little creativity doesn’t hurt.
What You Will Need:
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 Bag of Frozen Cooked or Uncooked Shrimp, de-veined with the tails off
1 cup of Long Grain White or Brown Rice
Salt & Pepper
1 Cup of Jarred or Fresh Marinara Sauce
1/4 Cup of Feta or Parmesan Cheese for topping