This past December, I had my big holiday party as I do every year. I invited everyone I know, cooked for days, bought some basics for the bar, and opened my doors for the revelry. Whenever people asked what they should bring, I always said the same thing: “A bottle of whatever you feel like drinking.” Without fail, I always end up with a wealth of half consumed booze left behind. Some I like and end up consuming the traditional way; others that I’m not so crazy about sipping find their way into my recipies. Thus begins the ballad of a bottle of chardonnay that was wreckless eyeballing me EVERY TIME I went into the kitchen. I’m a fan of Big Sean’s hit song as much as the next chick, (don’t tell anyone, but I even had it as a ringtone) but chardonnay is not my white of choice. If I’m drinking white wine, typically it’s a riesling or if that isn’t available, pinot.
What was I going to do with a well-intended bottle of grocery store chardonnay? I remembered a dish I’d had a few months ago. It was the first time I had mussels. I know, I know. What kind of foodie could I possibly be if I JUST tasted mussels a few months ago? Well, folks, I used to be a bit finicky. My palate was not always what it is now and I had avoided those bad boys for years, quite deliberately. Anyway, I was on a date and my gentleman caller ordered mussels in a white wine sauce. They were so.damn.good. The evening was so….*sigh*. Delightful company, a moonlit night, with wine and wine sauce and bread and the mussels. All yummy everything. I started to search wine recipes on the ‘net and soon I stumbled on what looked to be a solid recipe for mussels with white wine sauce. As I read through the steps, I couldn’t stop thinking about the slightly crusty yet soft French bread that accompanied the dish and how it absorbed the last drops of the sauce in the bowl. All I could think of recreating the meal.
I dressed hurriedly and rushed to the fish market even though it was dark and FREEZING outside. When I got to the market and they were all out of mussels. They did have loads of shrimp of all types and sizes. Well, necessity certainly is the mother of invention. My wheels started turning faster. I copped two pounds of tiger shrimp and rushed home to reinvent my new favorite meal. It’s supereasy, EXTREMELY delicious and is more visually pleasing than it is difficult to create. Perfect for a chilly romantic night at home. Oh, and you can serve the shrimp over pasta for a heartier meal or as a quick way to jazz up the leftovers!
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 cloves garlic chopped (or 3 tablespoons minced garlic)
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 bunch chopped scallions
- 2 ½ cups dry white wine
- fresh pepper
- 2 lbs large shrimp, peeled & deveined *
- 1 loaf crusty artisan bread (I prefer baguettes)
*If you don’t have a shrimp deveiner, you can use kitchen shears to split the shell and spine of the shrimp to easily remove the vein.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Using a serrated knife to slice the bread, but do not separate the loaf.
- Wrap bread in aluminum foil and place in the oven to warm.
- Heat oil, butter and garlic in large sautee’ pan until garlic becomes fragrant, roughly 30 seconds.
- Add crushed pepper and scallions.
- Cook until onions are soft.
- Add wine and cook until liquid is reduced to about ¾ of a cup
- Add shrimp. Cover and cook until shrimp are pink.
- Remove bread from oven, wrap in a napkin and place in a basket.
- Transfer shrimp and sauce into serving bowl.
- Set your table, pour a nice glass of wine and enjoy!