Are you ready? This tasty shrimp dish comes together lickety-split
When I prepare for a cooking class, I spend hours prepping and measuring out ingredients, organizing the classroom and placing all necessary tools in arm’s reach. My students appreciate my approach and I love how it allows them to focus on mastering new techniques. Not surprisingly, I adhere to the same philosophy when I’m cooking at home for my family.
Mise en place, the French term for having everything in its place, is nothing new or revolutionary. And while professional kitchens obediently operate under this system, home cooks have sometimes been known to stray. Having your recipe’s components assembled and prepared, pans retrieved from the cabinet and tools at the ready is a simple path to less stressful and more enjoyable cooking.
Locally sourced, fresh seafood cooks very quickly, leaving little to no time to finish mincing herbs or rummage through a refrigerator to retrieve an overlooked ingredient. This dish comes together lickety-split, so last-minute scrambling just won’t do.
Shrimp with Crushed Tomatoes
2 very ripe, large tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice from one lime
2½ pounds medium shrimp, shell-on
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
Handful of fresh basil leaves
Toast for serving
Slice each tomato into quarters. In a large bowl, crush the tomatoes by hand, breaking up large bits. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Toss shrimp with remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Chiffonade fresh basil and set aside.
Place shrimp in the pre-heated skillet and cook, turning once, until lightly charred and just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes total, depending on size. Immediately transfer shrimp to a serving platter.
Add crushed tomatoes, butter and red pepper flakes to the hot pan. Cook briefly to melt the butter and further soften the tomatoes. Turn off heat and add garlic, stirring constantly.
Pour mixture onto serving platter with shrimp. Squeeze lime juice over the dish and let sit a minute or two. Top with the basil and serve with toast for mopping up the juices.
Alicia Cahill is the owner of The Kitchen Chick, 2402 Market St. in Galveston.