Quick 15-minute Florida Shrimp and Rice Lunch Recipe
By Kelly Dean
By gumbo (pun intended), Florida has lots of shrimp – Forrest Gump amounts of shrimp – so you might as well take advantage of it. “Fresh is as fresh does,” Forrest might say, so get all over it and enjoy.
16 ounces of fresh shrimp (de-shelled, de-veined, de-tailed), preferably small
Two tablespoons of wet, bottled, minced garlic
Two to three tablespoons of salted butter
1/4 cup of chopped onion
One cup of rice (whole grain or white)
One cup of water for the rice preparation
Lots of Salt … and pepper to taste
On medium-low heat, in a 9-inch skillet, heat butter until melted. Then add garlic, onion and shrimp and sauté until the natural water is significantly reduced, the shrimp begin to turn pink and the onion becomes semi-transparent. Pouring off excess shrimp water very early in the process will not affect taste and will make the dish more firm. The shrimp will brown slightly and shrink in size and this is why they call them shrimp (a little shrimp humor). Add a goodly amount of salt … and pepper to taste.
Be sure to squeeze the tails off beforehand. This is a personal thing. I hate when I’m served shrimp inside a dish and the tails are left on. Peel and eat cocktails are different, but tail nipping should not be a chore when it’s incorporated inside a dish for Pete’s sake. Squeeze them off. Do it.
In a separate saucepan while sautéing the shrimp, boil your water and prepare the rice in the usual manner. When the rice is firm and ready, pour it into the skillet with the shrimp, butter, garlic and onion and stir it up. Reduce heat to low, steam for one or two minutes, then uncover and stir occasionally until moisture is gone and rice begins to “golden” slightly — then serve.
If you make this for lunch, it can serve two in delightful gluttony. You will not be hungry until dinnertime. If you’re alone, eat the whole thing right out of the pan. I do. Yum.
That said, this recipe is a gateway drug to many great shrimp dishes: Imagine doing the same with pasta instead of rice for a quick quasi-scampi; Imagine adding peppers, cream and other spices and skewing it toward Italian; Imagine adding egg, soy sauce and maybe some bacon or smoked pork and skewing it toward Oriental.
But that would add a little time and the title said “quick.” However, for dinner, oh yeah, it might be just the springboard to let you imagination will run wild.
Below are two such variants: a shrimp and pasta version and a vegetarian mushroom version. Simply use mushrooms instead to make the latter.
(Editor’s note: I love writing recipes because I get to use sentence fragments.)