Friday, January 21, 2011

Spicy Shrimp and Tomato Bake

The Problem:

Every Friday afternoon, I hit the grocery store and buy a cartload of groceries. I come home and stuff the food into my overflowing pantry and freezer. Most items are never seen again. By Saturday afternoon, I've come up with more cooking "ideas" and head back to the store. Well, I go to a different store because it may have different "stuff" that I need. More money spent. More food stockpiled. This madness must stop!!!

The Challenge:

Thursday morning...Dinner will be prepared using only ingredients in the pantry and freezer. A bag of frozen shrimp is removed from the freezer and thawed in the sink while I'm at work. Ideas start to form on how to cook said shrimp. On the way home from errands that afternoon, children cry because I nix a stop at Chick-fil-A. We will eat at home. But what? Something...

The Solution:  Spicy Shrimp and Tomato Bake

1 lb. shrimp, peeled
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. course black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1-15 oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
16 oz. vermicelli, cooked and drained

Place the shrimp in a 9"x13" baking dish. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, chopped garlic, and olive oil. Stir until shrimp are coated. Pour the tomatoes over the shrimp and stir until well mixed. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes until shrimp are fully cooked, stirring every five minutes. Serve over pasta.

This is about one pound of shrimp. We bought these fresh locally and froze them in 1 lb. servings.

Add the seasonings. If you don't like your food spicy, you'll want to omit the red pepper flakes. They do have a kick. Also, Eric informed me last weekend that we were out of garlic. So, I knew going in to cooking this meal that I was going to have to used jarred garlic. Not my favorite, but better than nothing. I do prefer fresh garlic though.

I bought this can of fire roasted tomatoes because someone on the Food Network told me to. They've been in the cabinet for a while, just sitting there with no sense of purpose. I put them out of their misery.

The little charred pieces make it fancy like something Rachael Ray might cook!!

I kind of like where this is going...

We are vermicelli eaters in my household but any long noodle will do. Since vermicelli only takes about four minutes to cook, I usually wait to throw it in the boiling water after the sauce is done so the noodles won't have time to get sticky before serving. 

The Verdict:

My husband's favorite dish to cook and consume is shrimp spaghetti, a dish he makes in a skillet using jarred spaghetti sauce. I wondered how he would like my version with a lighter flavored sauce and a kick of heat. After a bite or two, he declared it better than his! Victory!!! And, I didn't even have to go to the grocery store again...


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