March 29, 2011
I’ve come down with a major case of blogger’s block.
I’m inspired to cook, uninspired to talk about it.
Perhaps my brain is muddled with reminders that the end of this wonderful little thing called maternity leave is looming. Don’t get me wrong, I welcome a return to the working world (And people talk! Adult people talk!), but I dread the “first day of school” (aka the first day of daycare). He’ll be fine. Momma’ll be sobbing. Returning to work also means I have to wear real clothes again. Like, with collars and without elastic waists. (Imagine that.) And I’ll have to fix my hair. (The horror.)
Long gone will be the days of coffee to the tunes of Sesame Street, mid-afternoon errand runs when we’re feeling brave (read: Caleb’s rested, changed and very well fed), and lots of carefree mommy-and-me time. They’ve been wonderful and truly cherished, but welcome will be the days of a new routine. We’ll be busy and I’m certain there will be times my head is spinning with to-do’s and to-go’s and help-me-Lord!‘s but that’s life and we’ll manage. One foot in front of the other, one day at a time. I’m looking forward to what the future has in store.
So about this shrimp. In anticipation of hectic weeknights I’ve had an eye out for recipes that require one pan and minimal hands-on time. This one fits the bill. It’s jam-packed with some of my favorite things and good for the body and the soul. Winner, winner shrimp dinner!
Here’s the fennel, cozying up to some garlic in a splash of olive oil.
If you can, opt for good quality canned tomatoes here, as they headline in this recipe. San Marzano if you can find them.
Anything with breadcrumbs qualifies as comfort food, in my opinion. The aromas aren’t bad either.
Round out the meal with a simple salad. And a nice hunk of crusty bread. A glass of white wine would be lovely, as well.
It seems I like roasting shrimp. Here’s another favorite: Roasted Shrimp Cocktail.
And another easy weeknight meal: Chicken Sausage with White Beans and Sage.
And just for giggles: Peanut Butter Fudge Krispies from one year ago.
Roasted Shrimp with Tomatoes, Feta and Breadcrumbs(Adapted liberally from Ina Garten)
- 3 T olive oil, divided
- 1 medium fennel bulb, cored, halved and sliced crosswise into thin moons
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken stock
- 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1 T tomato paste
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails on
- 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
- 3 slices whole grain bread, crusts removed
- 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- Zest (1 tsp) and juice from one lemon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a 10- or 12-inch ovensafe skillet, heat 2 T olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the fennel and saute for about 10 minutes, or until tender (while the fennel cooked I made the breadcrumbs* and zested the lemon). Add the garlic and saute 1 minute. Add the wine or stock and bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the tomatoes (with juice), tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Arrange the shrimp, tails up, in a single layer atop the tomato mixture. Scatter the feta evenly over the shrimp. To the breadcrumbs* stir in the Italian seasoning, lemon zest and the remaining 1 T olive oil. Sprinkle over the shrimp.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until shrimp are cooked through and breadcrumbs are golden brown. Remove from oven and drizzle the lemon juice over shrimp.
*To make the breadcrumbs: Break up bread into large pieces. Pulse in a food processor until crumbs form.
Serves 4 as a light entree.