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January 29, 2009

Maine Shrimp-ly Delicious

My son didn't know what had possessed me. I went all gourmet on him last night. I picked him up at Nana's after work and said "How does shrimp sautéed in white wine and garlic, topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and organic parsley over rice sound for dinner tonight?"

His response: "Huh?"

"Uh, yeah," he said, eyes lighting up at the prospect of one of his favorites, shrimp. Later he would help me shell shrimp, grate cheese, and polish off what I couldn't finish.

I had seen the shrimp truck by the side of the road on the way in to work, $1.25/pound. But the idea for a fresh Maine shrimp meal had germinated for me over the weekend. In the most unlikely of places, a thriller novel read in one sitting on Sunday during the snowstorm gave me the thought.

Cynthia Thayer, Maine author of the novel A Brief Lunacy (which I couldn't put down until I knew what had happened) had the husband in the novel suggest to his wife, who was knitting a sock at the time, that he do something for dinner with the shrimp she had taken from the freezer. He says something like "garlic? parsley? rice?" in suggestion, and I thought, "Yes, yes, that sounds good." But I'll get fresh shrimp!

As a side note of related interest, author Thayer moved to Maine in 1976 to farm organically. She and her family own and operate Darthia Farm in Gouldsboro, a waterfront organic farm. (Note: Darthia Farm was featured in a Maine Food & Lifestyle article on Horse-Powered Farming in 2006.)

So, back to my story. We got the ingredients and headed home with purpose. Here's what we made, and what we devoured.

Shrimply Delicious
Cooked rice (or pasta) of your choice
2 pounds of fresh Maine shrimp, blanched and shelled
1 cup of white wine (I used Barefoot Pinot Grigio)
3 or 4 cloves of organic garlic, minced
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Organic parsley, for garnish

For ease, shrimp and rice may be readied ahead of time. Then, all you'll have to do is mince the garlic and heat up together on medium-high heat with the wine in a pan or wok. Place 2 pounds of shelled shrimp into the wok, stirring to mix the garlic up. Cook for about a flash this way, a few seconds.

Remove from heat, evenly pour contents of garlicky wine shrimp over rice. Top with grated Parmesan and parsley.

Serves 2 with hearty appetites.

Melanie Hyatt is an editor at Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.

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