Monday, March 14, 2011

Garlic-Pepper Shrimp

I've launched a little food-related project in conjunction with the folks at Fooducopia, a site where small food producers sell their products. My part in this is that I'll be creating recipes specifically for products sold on the Fooducopia site. This is one of those recipes. The ingredient from Fooducopia this time is roasted garlic oil from Extravagonzo Gourmet.

I love garlic,  but somehow I don't always have fresh garlic on hand when I need it. I'll think I have some, but when I pull our a bulb it will be sprouted, or dried, or both. On the other hand, garlic oil is always on hand and it never fails me. Even better, while fresh garlic can be a little harsh until you cook it, roasted garlic oil is smoother, which is great when you want that garlic flavor now.

Shrimp and garlic are a natural pair, and once you've got those two, you don't need much more. Oh, you can add more if you like - a little spice is nice, or the tart bite of lemon. But you don't absolutely need them. This recipe is simple it takes no time at all to assemble, particularly if you buy your shrimp already cleaned.

The simplicity of this basic preparation also makes these simple shrimp very versatile. They’d make a great appetizer with some crusty bread to sop up the juice, or warm on top of a salad. But even though they're simple, they pack enough flavor to make them main-dish worthy. Serve them over pasta, couscous, or rice and drizzle with a little extra garlic oil and maybe a sprinkling of lemon juice, and serve a fresh salad on the side and you've got a nice meal.

For a more elegant meal, use large fresh shrimp. Or use frozen pre-cooked shrimp for a quick weeknight meal when you don't have time for anything more complicated.

Keep in mind that shrimp cook quickly, so don’t walk away from the stove once the shrimp hit the heat.

Garlic-Pepper Shrimp

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon Extravagonzo roasted garlic oil
8 ounces shrimp
Black pepper, to taste
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Lemon juice (optional)

Melt butter in a frying pan and add garlic olive oil. Add the shrimp, and grind on black pepper, to taste. Add red pepper flakes if desired.

If you’re using pre-cooked shrimp, cook only long enough to warm them. For raw shrimp, cook until shrimp are opaque throughout.

Remove the shrimp from the pan, leaving the juices behind. If the shrimp were very watery, you’ll have a thin liquid left behind. Continue cooking this until it thickens a bit and the butter just barely begins to brown. Pour this oil-spice mixture over the shrimp.

Squeeze on some lemon juice, if desired. Serve immediately.

To be clear, I'm not reviewing or endorsing the products in this recipe. I've created the recipe for Fooducopia to post its site and I'm re-posting the recipe here for my readers as well. Then again, since I created the recipe, rest assured that I liked it. I don't cook stuff that we're not going to eat.