Shrimp shrimp -- 09/04/07

Actually, I started to write this in the comments to yesterday's entry, where Kate & Jim teased me about dinner...

Tonight I fixed a sort of a shrimp scampi kind of dish (yes, I know that scampi is Italian for shrimp, so saying "shrimp scampi" is like saying "shrimp shrimp" but that's what everyone calls it and hence the title of this entry).

Sometimes when Nancy and I play wedding attendants/building docents at the Narragansett Towers and the Kinney Bungalow, the caterers feed us. This doesn't happen all the time. In theory they are supposed to, but we understand that they are very busy trying to please their paying customer and if we do not expect that we'll be fed, then we won't be disappointed if we are not. However, I find it fascinating to study what they are serving -- and how they present it -- and I have picked up a lot of ideas from seeing what they have served. (For example, I picked up some ideas about making stuffed portobello mushrooms from seeing what one caterer served.) A couple of weeks ago a caterer served me a dish of shrimp scampi and (although it was good) I thought that I could do it better. So I looked up some shrimp scampi recipes on the Internet, noticed one that added sun-dried tomatoes and broccoli. I liked that idea (sun-dried tomatoes are a marvelous invention) and thought that it might be made more interesting by adding some sliced red onions and some sliced mushrooms and a bit of wine (which allowed me to use a little less butter in the interest of reducing the caloric content).

So... shrimp scampi with sun-dried tomatoes and broccoli:

Sun dried tomatoes (cut into smaller pieces) sauteed with chopped up garlic and very thin red onion slices and sliced mushrooms (sauteed in a mix of the oil the sun-dried tomatoes were in plus a little bit of olive oil and some butter, then add the shrimp (deveined, tail removed, and sliced in half lengthwise) and some seasoning (basil and Italian seasoning and parsley and a touch of fresh ground pepper and three or four drops of hot sauce) -- and I think I lost track of my nested parentheses somewhere in this confused excuse for a sentence -- and, instead of extra butter, I added some Marsalla wine (which will reduce nicely and yet still add enough liquid to coat the pasta) and meanwhile tossed some broccoli florets into boiling water along with some angel hair pasta (yes, both in the same pot of boiling water, even though I usually prefer to steam broccoli rather than boil it but I wanted this to be a quick & easy meal without a lot of pots and pans to clean). Drain the water from the broccoli and pasta, add everything from the skillet onto the pasta and broccoli, stir it all together, then put onto dinner plates. (Okay, I lied, I didn't empty all of the skillet onto the pasta; I reserved a little bit of the shrimp, etc. to put on top after everything was on the individual dishes just for the visual effect.)

Took two leftover slices of focachia bread (from Sunday) -- microwaved to soften them up and then buttered -- and added one slice to each plate. Served with a Californian pino grigio.

I think it would work well with asparagus instead of broccoli.

Jill's road trip.

She's home!

They drove non-stop (except for restaurants, bathrooms, and filling the gas tank) across the country, probably somewhere around 2800 - 3000 miles.

I just sketched in and labelled the states that she actually drove through on her trip. This is one of those things that makes me realize just how big this country is. (Yes, and just how small little old Rhode Island is compared to all of the other states.) Montana alone (which is the 4th largest state in area) is as big as the entire British Isles (including the Irish Republic) with enough space left over to hold Belgium and the Netherlands.

She phoned just before dawn to say they had entered Pennsylvania and then in the early afternoon to say they had just passed the Middletown/Meridan area in Connecticut and then a couple of hours later to say she was at Eli's house and would be home in a little while. When she got here she didn't even unload most of her stuff from the car, just came inside, handed me her camera (I have loaded her pictures to my computer and also burned her a CD to make it easy for her to put them on her computer) and showed us her Captain's Log that she kept during their trip, then she took a shower and came back downstairs only long enough to pick up Tiger and bring him upstairs to her room. He wandered back downstairs a couple of hours later, but I doubt that we will see her until morning.

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