Friday, May 19, 2006

Shrimp Florentine with Caramelized Garlic

Friday is either pasta or pizza day! Tonight, I decided to have pasta. The recipe is one from Cookinglight. I really like their simple and yet tasty recipes. However, I don't have the half & half and chicken broth that the recipe called for. Undeterred, I decided to make some "adjustments" along the way.

First the cleaned and skinned garlics were roasted in a 350F oven for 25 min while I went on to prepare other ingredients. Because I used raw prawns, I had to peel them. But this was worth the effort as raw prawns have more flavour than the cooked one. I reserved and freeze the prawn shells for use in seafood stock next time......Ok, i shouldn't bore you with the detail.... you can see it all from the recipe I attached. More importantly, in my opinion, is that it's a simple and delicious meal. Nothing out of this world, but certainly satisfying. We like the caramelized garlics in our pasta. I will definitely go through the trouble to roast them again when I need some intense flavor in my pasta. Maybe I will also stirfry some chopped garlic in the skillet with the rest of the ingredients next time. What can I say? I am a garlic lover. In place of the half & half and chicken broth, I used milk + white wine. And omitted the butter in the recipe. I reckon that it may not have substantial flavour, so I added in 8 oz of baby portabella mushrooms (which coincidentally is what I like, and was on sale last week!)

Well, maybe I have made far too many changes to the recipe that it no longer taste anything close to what it should taste. Maybe it would have tasted better if I adhere closely to the recipe. Maybe next time I should measure all the ingredients as suggested insteads of follow my instinct. Whatever. At least now I know roasted garlic tastes good in pasta.

Shrimp Florentine with Caramelized Garlic

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
20 garlic cloves, peeled
Cooking spray

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon butter (omitted)
3/4 cup half-and-half (sub with milk)
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth (sub with white wine)
1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups frozen loose-leaf spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry

4 cups hot cooked linguine (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
*I also added 8 oz of sliced baby portabella mushrooms*

Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare garlic, combine 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and garlic in a bowl. Place garlic mixture on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally.

To prepare shrimp, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; sauté 3 minutes or until done. Remove shrimp from pan.

Heat one tablespoon of oil in the same skillet, saute mushrooms until they are no longer hard. Stir in half-and-half, broth,(milk and wine, in my case) cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, red pepper, and black pepper. Cook 1 minute or until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Stir in shrimp and spinach; cook 1 minute. Combine shrimp mixture, garlic mixture, and pasta in a large bowl; toss well. Serve immediately.

Yield: 3 servings

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