The Gourmand & I are officially nested in our new home, which is amazing. There is so much space and the kitchen, oh! the kitchen! Expect plenty of amazing new recipes from me. What’s that fear called, when you are scared of wide open spaces? After years of balancing my cutting boards over sinks, I felt a pang of that anxiety. Suddenly, my biggest cutting board feels dwarfed by the expanse of counter space that I face. Like a camera shifting its depth of field focus, I occasionally catch myself wondering if I am dreaming, or about to pass out. Neither, dear friends. Its just that now I have a kitchen with windows, and room to grow.
There’s lots of news and a really big secret project in the works – can’t jinx it, but keep your fingers crossed anyway. Let’s see. I can tell you that we bought a grill! More on that to come, in particular, How to Set Up a Weber Grill because the instructions included in the box leave lots to be desired. We had to take it apart at varying stages 4 different times. So, if you are in the market for a charcoal grill, I highly recommend the Weber 21″. Eighty bucks at Loews. Just check back here for instructions.
Also, being in a completely new city brings completely new culinary adventures and exploration. Edgewater, NJ is home to this place. Amazing! I really can’t write about it without pictures, though. But worry not, we’ll be going back. It happens to be not too far from our apartment (by car – we are in NJ after all!) and it is on the same stretch that affords an amazing and brand new view of Manhattan, Whole Foods & Trader Joe’s.
Ok! Food! After unpacking my kitchen boxes, which were done first, all I wanted was to cook dinner. I had lived for a week on take out for every meal and I was starting to feel the effects. Shrimp Fra Diavolo is fast, easy and makes enough for lunch the next day.
Shrimp Fra Diavolo
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T dried red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
1 lb. large (26-32*) shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, or 1 large can of chopped tomatoes
1 packed cup of fresh, chopped basil
1 lb pasta of your choice
Heat enough e.v.o.o. to cover the bottom of a large skillet until it begins to shimmer. Add the garlic and turn the heat down to medium. Let cook 1 minute, add the red pepper and cook 1 minute more. Add the shrimp and cook until the start to turn pink and curl up. Add the tomatoes. (If you use fresh, you might need to add a little water, depending on how juicy your toms are. You can always steam the water off if you add too much. It should be pretty juicy though, because this is your sauce.) Cover and cook over medium heat until the shrimp are cooked through and your tomatoes have broken down a bit. Take off the heat and stir in the basil. Serve over pasta.
* This number refers to how many shrimp will make a up a pound. The bigger the shrimp, the smaller the count.
At this point, The Gourmand dusted his pasta with cheese. A stay in southern Italy taught me that seafood and cheese on the same plate is tantamount to insulting one’s sister. If there’s no Italians in your house, I say go for the cheese, just don’t tell i Pisciottani!