Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Seafood (and Eat It)

Confession: I dislike fish. I can nibble a bit of salmon if it's cooked just right, but put anything else that swims with fins in front of me and I'll politely take a pass. But my aversion to fish is amply compensated for by my love of shellfish and other seafood, namely clams, scallops, mussels, and lately lobster & shrimp. J shares my love of seafood, but is also a fish lover and will happily order mahi-mahi and cod, or will munch away at a tuna sandwich (as far from me as possible).

Needless to say, J has been hounding me to make something of the seafood variety for quite a while. I'm not entirely sure why I've been avoiding it, but late last week I resolved to break my habit of ocean-creature-cooking avoidance. After considering -- and dismissing -- the various possibilities, I decided to go easy on myself and settled on shrimp.

Once I chose the little pink crustacean, I knew what I wanted to make: angel hair pasta with shrimp & veggies in béchamel sauce. I still had some of the peas & carrots from the pot pie, so I figured I could splurge a little bit on the shrimp. And besides, a pasta dish is always a good weapon in an exhausted cook's arsenal, and it was high time I added one to mine.

The speed and timing are what make this dish so pleasant to make, so J quickly set the table while I prepped.

I thawed and de-tailed the shrimp, started the pasta and sauce, and crossed my fingers that my "guesstimate" timing would work out -- I didn't follow any particular recipe.

Pre-cooked and de-veined shrimp. Okay, I was a little lazy, but I did cut the tails off!

Bubble, bubble!

Luck was on my side this time, and all of the pieces to the meal came together. I should have picked up a nice Italian bread to accompany, but sadly neither of us thought of it until about 5 minutes before it was time to eat. Ah well, next time!

Dinner is served

I somewhat timidly watched as J tried a bite of the shrimp, a scoop of veggies, and a forkful of pasta. As I waited for his verdict, I tried some myself -- and at the risk of sounding immodest, I have to admit that I thought it tasted pretty darn good. Creamy, smooth, and well-matched with the last of a Riesling we had in the fridge. J concurred, giving it an "A-" with the request for smaller shrimp next time (to which I completely agree). 

For a fairly simple and very quick dish, this version makes a filling meal for two (plus leftovers). I think I can safely add it to my growing list of Make Me Again meals. Yum!


  1. Way to go! Shrimp with pasta is a quick meal! Good for you to make up the dish on your own!

  2. Great job tonight! I loved my first seafood meal with yummy pasta!

  3. What kind of sauce did you make? it looks really good!! Do you think the kids (12 and 14 years old) would like it!?! I would love to try it one day!

    1. I made a basic white sauce -- butter, flour, salt, pepper, milk -- which is very neutral and not strongly flavored (you can add all kinds of things to it, however... next time I might do garlic!). I think the kids would love it, as it's a nice change from the usual tomato sauce. It's also pretty light, which is perfect for the summer weather!