One thing you know about this blog is that I love shrimp. Just review the previous posts like Shrimp Aglio e Olio (1/9/15), Shrimp with Garlic (3/21/15), and Shrimp with Cream Sauce (1/2/16) and you get the idea. What I like about shrimp, apart from its texture and taste, is that it's so easy to cook. Whether you broil it, steam it or stir-fry, the trick is quick cooking, 2-3 minutes over medium heat until its turns pink.
If there's one drawback about it, is the preparation. That is, removing the shell and deveining. Here's a secret. You don't need to devein shrimp, unless you're a purist (which I ain't). In some cultures, they eat the shrimp whole, eyes and all. That vein down the back of the shrimp is part of the intestinal tract. Now, before you start thinking about eating intestines, you won't fall ill from eating it. In Chinese restaurants, I've never seen anyone remove the vein. It's all a matter of preference. Also, convenience. With small shrimp, no one even bothers. But even with large shrimp like prawns or jumbo, it could take hours to devein the thing. Fortunately, most suppliers these days offer shrimp that has already been shelled and deveined.
The recipes given can be done quickly and efficiently. The white bean ragout can be served over rice. With the shrimp and vodka, I prefer it over pasta, whatever type you like. But, if you want to serve it with a grain, go right ahead. In terms of cuisine, I discovered long ago, do what suits you best.
SHRIMP AND WHITE BEAN RAGOUT
(Note: I first had this dish in my young manhood, years ago, at one of my favorite watering holes, Ye Olde Tripple Inn at 54th Street between 7th and 8th Avenue. When I saw it on the menu, I told Mike, the owner, "I'll have the "RAG-OUT." He corrected me: "Dummy, it's called "RAGOO." To which I replied, 'Okay, I'll have the 'RAGU.'" The Tripple Inn is no longer with us, but memories are made of this.)
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 pound large raw shrimp, 1/4 teaspoon each garlic powder and crumbled dried rosemary, plus salt and pepper to taste. Cook 2 minutes. Add 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) rinsed Great Northern Beans (white beans) and cook 2 minutes until heated through. Serve over rice. 4 servings.
SHRIMP WITH VODKA
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 small onion, chopped; and 2 cloves garlic, finely minced. Cook, stirring, about 4-5 minutes, until softened. Add 2 tablespoons tomato sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup heavy cream. Bring to a boil, add salt and pepper to taste, and let the sauce bubble until it starts to thicken slightly. Add 1 pound large raw shrimp to the sauce plus 2 tablespoons vodka. Cook, stirring, over medium heat 2-3 minutes more. Pour sauce over cooked pasta, either strand, tubular or other. Toss well and serve. 4-6 servings.