Sunday, February 19, 2012

I Heart You


The Texan and I celebrated our first Valentine's Day together this year. And while, as one of my friends pointed out roughly 27 times on Facebook, one should not save all gestures of love and affection for February 14th, The Texan planned a lovely surprise for me, so I figured I would cook him something heart-y in return.

 Ages ago, I cut out a recipe for Rosemary Shrimp Scampi Skewers from Cooking Light magazine (February, year unknown). The blurb that accompanies it says, "Rosemary has a long history of being associated with the heart: It has been believed by many to be a love charm, by others to be a token of remembrance and fidelity, and by some to be a potent aphrodisiac." So figuratively, this recipe was perfect for V-Day.

Literally speaking, it was also perfect: The Texan and I had fallen into the highly indulgent but not so healthy habit of eating out a zillion times a week. We agreed that our hearts (not to mention our wallets) would be better off if we cooked at home more. Plus, shrimp are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Which is of course what everyone is thinking about on Valentine's Day.

Anyway, there just happens to be a rosemary bush in The Texan's backyard, so he snipped off a few sprigs a few minutes before we cooked the shrimp, which had been marinating in white wine, lemon juice, and a bit of olive oil with some spices. He threaded the shrimp onto the now-naked sprigs, which still smelled fantastic despite being totally bare, and because it's February and his girlfriend  would have spent the evening complaining about how cold she was, he fired up the stove top instead of the grill.

As the shrimp cooked in their marinade, I sauteed some asparagus spears in a bit of olive oil and a seasoning that had the words 'Texas', 'cowboy', and 'grill' on the bottle. I know! My eyebrows were raised, too! But it turned out well, and we ate every single piece. The Texan knows his way around a microwave, so he steamed up more veggies to round out the greenness on our plates, and dinner was on the table in under 30 minutes.

You couldn't give a rat's ass about omega-3s, marinades, or spice blends, though. What you are really wondering is, is rosemary actually an aphrodisiac?

I can't tell you that. My dad reads this blog.

Rosemary Shrimp Scampi Skewers
adapted from Cooking Light magazine

NOTE: I made at least double this quantity of marinade, both to cover all the shrimp and to have extra to use in the pan. 

1 TBSP dry white wine
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 lb shrimp (I used 1 pound of the 26-30 size), peeled and deveined
6-inch rosemary sprigs (number you will need depends on number of shrimp used)

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a resealable bag or non-reactive bowl. Add shrimp, turning to coat. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
2. Remove leaves from rosemary sprigs, leaving about an inch of leaves at one end. If grilling, rinse/dip sprigs in water to prevent fire.
3. Load 3-4 shrimp onto each rosemary sprig. Carefully load onto preheated grill or saute pan, using marinade if desired. Cook 2-3 minutes per side, or until shrimp is pink and cooked through. 
Do NOT use uncooked marinade on cooked shrimp!

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