Wednesday, December 21, 2005

How was that sorbet? A bit too long in between courses? Sorry about that... the kitchen's been a bit backed up. I'll try and speed up the pacing.

I know it's been too long since postings, and I'm going to start trying to be more regular.

What did I eat last night?

Just a quick meal I fixed at home after work...Linguine with tomatos, fresh basil and KILLER shrimp.Seriously, easiest pasta dish around.

Start to boil water (SALTED!)... if this is a challenge for you, immediately look for take out menus.

In a LARGE sauce pan (I use a 2-3 qt one) melt a whole stick of butter. High heat. Don't let it burn.Add LOTS of chopped (fine dice) garlic. Probably a couple of tablespoons. I do this by feel. If you don't have or are too lazy to chop yourself, the store bought pre chopped is fine.

Stir garlic around until it is evenly distributed - use wooden spoon, not your fingers.

Put face over pan and smile as you enjoy the smell.

Heat garlic until highly aromatic.Add olive oil. Again a couple of TB - I do this by feel.

Mix butter, oil, garlic up.

Water should be boiling now. Add the pasta... remember don't over cook.. make it al dente.

Should take 7-9 minutes from now.

Don't let the garlic burn, turn down heat if necessary.

Add Shrimp - last night I used wonderful wild caught Mexican Jumbo U-10 white shrimp. Amazing taste and texture. Sweet and succulent, like lobster. U-10 means that there are 10 shrimp to a pound... so you guessed it, these are really large shrimp. I used about 10 shrimp last night. I buy this shrimp about 15 pounds at a time and vacuum freeze it. No degradation in flavor, I have a very, very, very cold deep freezer. Do not attempt this unless your freezer registers AT LEAST 10 degrees below zero, or you will have flavor degradation.

Saute shrimp until outside becomes slightly opaque.Don't forget to stir your pasta! don't let it stick together.

Add white wine - I used a Gainey Limited Reserve Chardonnay last night - not bad. I have rule about wine in cooking - I never cook with wine I won't drink. I end up using a lot of expensive wine in recipes, but I can tell a difference, but maybe it's just in my mind. Some disagree. No biggie. I used about a cup to two cups of wine.

Throughout the process of cooking the shrimp/sauce - ADD SALT. I do this by feel, but don't be shy about it. Forget what you keep hearing - salt is your FRIEND. So is BUTTER. Most normal people would fall down in SHOCK if they realized how much butter and salt gets used in restaurant kitchens. They use it because it makes things taste better. I know, I know, but at least you'll die smiling.

Lower heat, stir up shrimp again and let simmer. Cover.

Pasta should be nearly done. Taste and make sure it's good.

In sauce pan, add chopped tomatoes (a couple of cups) - if you ABSOLUTELY MUST, go ahead and used canned tomatoes... I won't tell anyone.

Add chopped fresh basil (rough/coarse chop)... about a two cups to a cup and a half. Stir up and cover, shrimp should be nearly, if not completely cooked. Place over LOW heat or take off burner (your choice) - at this point you just want to finish off the shrimp (residual heat should be enough to do that) and wilt the basil a LITTLE BIT.

Kitchen is smelling pretty good now.Pasta should be done.

Drain pasta in colander. DO NOT RINSE. I say again. DO NOT RINSE PASTA. You want the pasta a little sticky for this dish so the stuff in the sauce pan will stick to the noodles.

Take sauce pan to where pasta is.Using tongs or two wooden spoons - not your fingers, OUCH! - put pasta in the sauce pan and mix it up well. Pasta should become "unsticky" and get coated with some of the residual liquid. Mix up well. Serve in pasta bowls. Eat, smile, enjoy.

Anyways, that's what I had for dinner last night with the wife and kiddies.

Total time prep to eat is way under 20 minutes. Great meal.

Funny thing, didn't drink wine... weird. I must make up for that tonight.

Just wanted to drop a quick note and say Nice post over at the Waiters blog on wine etiquette in Restaurants.

No one ever told me I should offer my server wine, it just seemed like a natural thing to do, and I always do it. I hope others who read your comment will do the same.

Keep blogging.


P.S. If you're ever in the Bay Area again, drop me an email; Golf, Wine, Food, it all works for me.
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yeah, you should definitely start this up again. I love it! It makes me hungry though . . .
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