The shrimp were on sale. The tomatoes came from the garden of a friend. I had a friend coming to dinner. It was a slam-dunk.
Sometimes I turn to recipes for ideas. This time I didn't need to. The ingredients practically formed a chorus and yelled "USE US TOGETHER!!" That's one of the nice things about being very busy. I spent a great deal of the day gardening. I raked and clipped and hauled 6 huge bags of yard waste. Back in the old days, I used to turn this into compost. I will do that again someday when I get my landscaping finished and have some space for a compost. Right now, I'm working towards clearing enough space for a tree trimmer to chop back this wild overgrowth of ficus and elm trees that have invaded my yard, swallowing up all the light as well as my canyon view.
But with company coming, I didn't have time to think about much other than the clock. Needed to finish the yard, the laundry and get something going for a meal. The beauty of being this busy is that you just keep moving, and things get done. The beauty of this dish is that it doesn't take much time. The only thing that took time was shelling the shrimp. The ones that were on sale had the shells on, so that meant a little more work. But that was basically it.
To make this, I used something like a pound of shrimp, shelled and deveined. I used a rounded teaspoon of chopped garlic out of a jar, threw it in a pan with some canola oil, added some chopped tomatoes, cooked them for about 3 minutes, then turned the flame off. I chopped a little basil from the garden and put a mixture of wild and basmati rice on to boil. When it was time to turn it down to a simmer, I tossed in whatever I had available in my herb collection, which was thyme. When the rice was done, I added some frozen peas, fluffed the whole thing with a fork and put the lid back on.
By then my friend had arrived, so I poured us a glass of wine, and we sat outside, sipping some cab and eating macadamia nuts. When it was time to serve the meal, I turned up the flame under the tomatoes, added the shrimp and the basil and cooked until the shrimp was pink - about 3-4 minutes. A clean yard, clean laundry, a gourmet meal and time with a friend. How good can it get?
10 years ago