This story involves this lovely bowl of shrimp in garlic sauce, a failed attempt at paella, and a husband who knows when to not say “I told you so!”.
Having celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary recently, means that my fella and I have been together for pretty much half our lives! On the day of our anniversary, I realized that a key ingredient in our marriage has been using “I Told You So!” sparingly. Seriously…
Our original plan was to celebrate at Tio Pepe’s, an “old guard ~ authentic” Spanish restaurant in Baltimore. We’d eaten there several times and thought that for this anniversary, we’d start with their delicious appetizer of shrimp in garlic sauce with bread and then share their famous paella and sangria. After thinking about their delicious but potent sangria, we didn’t want to drink and drive, so we I decided to create the paella and sangria at home.
|My paella: tasty but a mushy! The sangria helped|
Although I’ve never made paella, I’ve successfully pulled sugar, I ain’t scared of a rice/chicken/seafood dish! Plus, I’ve seen that stuff made more times that I can count on tv, and it looks easy enough. Plus, plus, Tyler Florence has his recipe and video online, and Epicurious has the recipe from Tio Pepe’s. So how hard can this be?! (my fella: Are you sure? We don’t have to order sangria.)
With GOOGLE as my witness, not only did I research the recipe from Tyler Florence and the Tio Pepe entry on Epicurious, I checked and compared numerous recipes. The result? Absolutely the most expensive and delicious mush I’ve ever tasted! (my fella: This is so good! I think the recipes were off because they used longer cooking times than you. This is really good!) Wow, after 23 years of marriage, he really knows just what to say!
A few days later, all was forgotten when I decided to treat us to a bowl of shrimp in garlic sauce, complete with warm crusty bread, french butter, and wine! Dining at home does have it’s perks…We were able to “sop” the bowl clean with the buttered bread, without the shame of people seeing that we ate like pigs!
|It’s my HomeGoods score: cheap saffron!|
|Easily & cheaply create stock with the shrimp shells, seasoning, and water.|
|Butter, grated onion, garlic, saffron, and corn starch…Just add tomato paste, stock, & shrimp and you’re ready to enjoy|
|Simmered and ready to crusty bread, butter, and wine!|
Shrimp in Garlic Sauce
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells saved
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup onion, grated
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 generous pinch of saffron
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon tomato paste
warm crusty bread
In a small saucepan, heat shrimp shells, water, and Old Bay seasoning until boiling. Cover and allow to boil for 20 minutes. Strain and discard any shells.
In a large skillet, heat butter, grated onion, and garlic until softened, about 3 minutes. Add saffron then stir in corn starch until completely absorbed. Add “shrimp stock” and allow mixture to come to a boil. Add tomato paste, stirring to blend. Add shrimp and allow to simmer for 4-5 minutes, turning once. Serve with bread and butter. Yes, smear bread with butter and dip in sauce!