Garlic White Wine Shrimp with Shaved Asparagus

mystyle foodsFinally, I feel like I’ve actually figured out how to cook with wine. I had so much fun making tonight’s dinner! Sporadically, I use wine in my cooking and each time I’m reminded how beautifully it elevates flavors. There’s really no reason not to start incorporating it in your cooking if you don’t already. Deglaze one pan with some wine and just try to tell me that your sauce doesn’t have a whole new life to it. I especially love white wine with seafood (i.e. shrimp) because it’s delicate and emphasizes the shrimp flavor.

As I tried to think of what to make, I remembered my $8 (!!) frozen shrimp with the shells still on. I’ve never been able to find a bag of frozen shrimp in DC for less than $15, but my local grocery store has it for less than ten. Scoreeeeee. Definitely going to make it a habit to have this on-hand at home. Deveining is always a pain, but once you get in the swing of it you can get it done quickly. Make sure your knife is sharp enough and just slice right down the back of the shrimp. If you can stand it, just use your fingers to clean it out. If not, running water and plastic gloves work just as well.

I decided to leave the shells on. It makes for a bit messier eating, but I didn’t want to lose that extra flavor. Leaving the shell on traps the juices, thus making your shrimp tender and it helps prevent overcooking.

Here’s what you’ll need:
Shrimp — like I said, mine was frozen with shells on
Asparagus
1/2 or full white onion, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
~1/4 cup chicken broth
2-3 green onions
Your favorite white wine – it’s not my favorite, but I had chardonnay
Tomato paste – generous amount
Basil
Lemon juice
Old Bay
Butter
San Francisco Salt Company’s smoked sea salt
Garlic powder

After going through an intense phase of watching Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay virtually every night, I decided to have fun with my asparagus. Grab a potato peeler and just start shaving! Obviously if you have a better tool, use that; mine isn’t the best shape, but it works. I did this because I wanted them to cook quickly with the shrimp and crisp up a bit. Plus, The long, thin shavings add nice texture and variety to each bite.

Heat a skillet and add just a touch of olive oil. Once your pan is nice and hot, toss in the onions and let them cook fajita style. Mince the garlic and add along with the asparagus shavings. I like my shrimp super buttery and garlicy, so add those flavors to your tastes. The butter helps to add a creamier sauce texture, rather than simply using olive oil. Once you’re ready to move quickly, add the shrimp!

I seasoned my shrimp before adding them to the pan. Toss them with a tiny bit of olive oil – just to get the spices to stick – then coat with Old Bay, smoked sea salt, and garlic powder. My aunt sent me a 3 pack of the San Francisco Salt Co.’s salts as a going-away present when I moved. I’m so grateful she did, because I’m obsessed. I’ve tried lots of salts in my day, and finally this one actually really tastes smokey! Others I’ve had are decent, but when you taste this it’s a powerful smoke flavor, which is what I’m looking for.

Make room in the center of the pan and squeeze out a good amount of tomato paste; this is the base of the sauce. Add the chicken broth and lemon juice and stir all of those to create the simmering liquid. Once you’ve added enough to call it a sauce, toss in the shrimp. Let those simmer for about a minute, stirring so everything starts to blend, then add your wine.

Now, make sure your pan is hot enough that when the wine is added there’s a nice sizzle. You’re going to let the shrimp simmer in the sauce and vegetables, but it needs to be long enough and hot enough that the alcohol flavors from the wine disappear and the shrimp doesn’t overcook. I added my wine in phases, because I was super timid to start. Don’t do this too long though; you don’t want the shrimp overcooking while you’re waiting for the wine to mesh.

As you wait for the shrimp to cook, add in the basil and green onions. Don’t forget to save some of the green part for garnish. I plated these as-is. Just a bowl of saucy shrimp and vegetables, and man these babies were succulent. Troy and I were shamelessly licking our fingers by the end of it. An addition of some sort of rice wouldn’t be a bad idea, though, to add a bit of body to the overall plate.

shrimp wine dinner homemade easy dinner recipes

The reason I’m so jazzed about tonight’s easy dinner is because I’ve finally used wine to actually simmer and cook something as opposed to just deglazing. I’m not trying to knock anyone who only deglazes, but if that is you, then you have to try broadening your horizons. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did. My next evolution is going to involve trying red wine. I’m still just learning to like red wine to drink, let alone cook with. 

If you’re really on top of things, save your shrimp tails and shells. Many of you have probably already guessed why…make stock! Ever since I made my first Thanksgiving by myself I’ve loved using carcasses and shells to make stocks. It’s a great way to save a few bucks, they last longer if you freeze them, and you’ll notice a difference in the depths of flavor compared to store-bought. I have yet to make a shrimp stock, and I forgot to this time, so share your recipes with me!

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