I am a big fan of Christopher Kimball. It began with my first issue of Cooks Illustrated and continued when he left to start up Milk Street. I have to admit the first few editions of Milk Street left me less than enthused. The recipes featured cuisine from different parts of the globe – not a bad thing but I don’t live in an area where a lot of the ingredients are readily available. And mail order usually means I end up with far more of an esoteric ingredient that I can use. As the end of my subscription neared I had decided not to renew. But then my inattention to a particular detail – automatic renewal had been turned on – stepped in and took the decision out of my hand. And with the July/August issue, I am grateful for that lapse.
The issue arrived and I set it aside for a few days. And when I opened it for the first time I was surprised to discover not one, not two but three recipes that spoke to me. Over the last two weeks, I have tried the new recipes and every one is a keeper. No weird ingredients (thanks to some substitutions made by Milk Street) no special cooking tools, just really good recipes that have been added to my repertoire.
Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t modify the recipes. But for the most part, I stayed pretty close to the original recipes. Here’s what we had from this stellar issue: Rigatoni with Ricotta-Sage Pesto and Walnuts, Spicy Portuguese Shrimp with Garlic (reminiscent of the garlic shrimp we have at our favorite Tapas place when we’re in Chicago) and Spaghetti al Limone (Spaghetti with Lemon.) The week was rounded out with Salad Nicoise, Bratwurst and sauerkraut, steak with twice baked potatoes and sous vide pork chops. I’d say we covered a lot of the world this week!
Here’s my favorite from the week. Just goes to show, you can always be surprised!
Spicy Portuguese Shrimp with Garlic Serves two
- 3/4 lb shrimp – 21 30 count
- 1 tsp paprika – I used Hungarian but I may try Spanish paprika next time
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 4 tbl extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 6 large garlic gloves minced (we love our garlic!)
- 1 Fresno chili thinly sliced you can substitute Jalapeno or yellow wax but Fresno are pretty common.
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 2 tbl lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp sugar
Peel and devein the shrimp. Pat them dry and season with the paprika, the salt and pepper. Let sit for 10 minutes to absorb the seasoning. Heat 1 tbl of the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until just barely smoking. Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook, without stirring, for one to 2 minutes. Stir and continue to cook until the shrimp are pink and opaque on both sides. Remove the skillet to a bowl.
Add 2 tbl of the olive oil to the skillet and add the garlic and the Fresno Chili. Cook, stirring until the garlic is golden – do not let it brown. Add the sherry and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened. Take the sauce off the heat and stir in the lemon juice, sugar and the last tablespoon of the oil. Return the shrimp to the pan and stir to combine. Serve with hunks of toasted bread and lemon wedges.