Mail from a mom comes with news and a shrimp recipe to savor
My mother’s love language is letters. She pens correspondence filled with newsy tidbits about family and friends back home, and more often than not, the envelopes arrive brimming with recipes. Torn from a news rack worth of magazines, they run the gamut from the gourmet to the nostalgic. While they aren’t all keepers, I do savor the gems like the one below.
I plucked the inspiration for this simple shrimp dish from my mailbox earlier this year. Served over spaghetti squash, it makes a quick, satisfying family dinner. Hopefully, it’s one you can enjoy with your mom across the table.
Lemon Shrimp & Bean Skillet
Zest from 1⁄2 lemon, plus 2 tablespoons fresh juice
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large leeks, white and green parts thinly sliced crosswise
1⁄2 jalapeño, thinly sliced
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 (14.5-ounce) can chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
Cooked pasta or spaghetti squash, see recipe
Combine zest, paprika, garlic, 3⁄4 teaspoon salt and 3⁄4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Add shrimp and gently stir to coat.
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. When butter foams, add shrimp and cook, turning once, until pink, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, remove shrimp from the pan and transfer to a plate; set aside.
Add leeks and jalapeño to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium until they turn soft and begin to brown on the edges. Add beans and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer another 10 minutes.
Return the shrimp to the pan and add the parsley and lemon juice. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed. Serve over cooked pasta or spaghetti squash.
Baked Spaghetti Squash
1 medium spaghetti squash (about 2 pounds)
4 teaspoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Set a rimmed baking sheet on the counter and line with parchment paper.
Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice the spaghetti squash in half. To make it easier, use the knife to score where you’ll be cutting first; then slice. Cut crosswise for longer “noodles,” or lengthwise for shorter ones. Scoop out the seeds.
Drizzle the inside of the halves very lightly with olive oil. Use a basting brush to brush it along the flesh. Season with sea salt.
Place the spaghetti squash halves onto the baking sheet, cut side down. Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the skin pierces easily with a knife. The knife should be able to go in pretty deep with just very slight resistance.
Remove from the oven and let the squash rest on the pan for 10 minutes.
Turn cut side up and scrape the squash with a fork to release the strands.
Alicia Cahill is the owner of The Kitchen Chick, 2402 Market St. in Galveston.