Friday, March 18, 2011

Grilled Shrimp with Buttered Noodles & Broccoli

So if you saw my Facebook posts last weekend, you know that I tried cooking with shrimp for the first time ever. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about this. TheHusband loves seafood, but I don't really care for it all that much. Fortunately, Red Lobster makes an excellent steak (and those yummy cheddar bay biscuits) or he would never get any! I do like shrimp though, and I didn't want to screw this recipe up and end up not liking shrimp too!

When I saw the recipe for the monthly Health & Wellness feature at work, I decided I just had to try making the grilled shrimp (the recipe at work served the shrimp with a crispy chickpea salad, something I KNEW TheHusband wouldn't want to try). So despite my fear, and after some recipe altering discussions, I decided to be brave.  Here are the results!

What I used:
1 lb medium size shrimp (26-30 shrimp per lb),
     pealed and deveined
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon lemon juice
3 teaspoon lemon rind
2 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 garlic clove, minced (I used freeze dried and it
     worked great)
                                                      1/2 teaspoon salt
                                                      1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
                                                      1 box spaghetti noodles
                                                      3 cups broccoli
                                                      butter (approximately 1 tablespoon per serving)
                                                      2 teaspoons garlic powder

How I made it:

1. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, lemon rind, parsley,
    minced garlic, salt, and pepper.

2. Pour marinade over shrimp. Mix well. Let marinade
    in refrigerator 1 hour, stirring occasionally. (oops! I
    missed that stirring occasionally part!)

3. 10-15 minutes before marinade time is up, begin
     preparing noodles as directed on box. (I suggest
    10-15 minutes so you can do step 4 while waiting for
    the water to boil.)

4. Remove shrimp from marinade (discard remaining
    marinade) and thread the shrimp onto skewers.

5. Steam broccoli (I do it in the microwave, but you can
    do it how it works best for you). You'll want to try to
    time this so the broccoli is done right around the
    same time as the noodles.

6. Place shrimp on pre-heated (to medium-high heat)
    grill. Grill shrimp for approximately 2 1/2 minutes per
    side. I was using precooked shrimp, so if you use raw
    shrimp it may take a little longer, but only a little.

7. When noodles and broccoli are done, combine
    them in large pot and stir in butter and garlic powder.
    (you can use fresh garlic as well, I just hadn't planned
     for that).

                                                      8. Serve grilled shrimp over a pile of the noodles &

The Verdict: A-MAZE-ING. I have never been so surprised by how delicious something turned out in my whole life. AND I made it! TheHusband, while always supportive of my culinary endeavors can still be trusted to give me honest feedback, even said to me "mmm, you know it's good when I take two bites to savor each shrimp instead of eating them in one bite." Now that's G-O-O-D! (Can you tell I'm a little proud of myself?) This is definitely a recipe that will get made again in the ATC kitchen.

What I'd do different: First I need to figure out how to get the butter to stay evenly distributed throughout the noodles & broccoli. Most of the butter ended up in the bottom of the pan, which resulted in the first helpings of pasta/broccoli being a little on the bland side. Secondly, TheHusband and I agreed that it needs a bit more garlic in the noodles.

Variations: If you like things a little spicier, I would suggest adding a teaspoon or so of red pepper flakes into the marinade. I left it out because residents of the ATC household like our foods to be not so spicey. You could serve the shrimp up with plenty of different side dishes, baked potatoes and buttery corn on the cob sound great to me!

One last suggestion, if you have picky eaters (of the my foods can't touch each other variety), you can easily skip the step of mixing the noodles and the broccoli together and serve them individually.
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