Chili Shrimp – A Meal for my Mother

Mother’s Day is always a double hitter in my family, since my mom’s birthday always falls within a few days of the holiday. When I was a kid, the only gift my parents would accept was a good report card, or a piece of my art, but now that I give grades instead of receiving them and their walls are overfilled with various creations of mine, I like to cook for my parents for the holidays. I think they are pretty pleased with this arrangement too.

You see, my mom is always busy, so she never takes the time to cook a slow meal for herself. This weekend is not just her birthday and Mother’s Day, in fact, she is also running two performances with the opera company that she runs and founded, Belcantanti Opera, and she is also working this morning since she is the musical director at a church. We had to fit this celebratory meal between her Saturday night performance of  Mascagni’s “Zanetto” & Puccini’s “Le Villi” (The Willis) and her church performance on Sunday morning!

Since we were coming down to her opera and carrying all of this food prepared in our trunk last night, I made recipes that would either keep really well traveling, or are really easy to assemble on site.

Our menu for the evening included Homemade Caesar salad, Chili Shrimp, Butternut Squash Risotto, and a Victoria Sandwich Cake. The Risotto and Shrimp keep really well, and are easy to reheat and the Victoria cake and Caesar can be assembled on site if you have the ingredients ready!

Chili shrimp is an incredibly easy dish. It will take about 5 minutes to cook, so you can prepare it ahead or if you know you will have access to a good frying pan, you can chop and prepare all of the ingredients and sauté the shrimp when you arrive!

Chili Shrimp

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1 1/2 pound shrimp, cleaned, tails intact
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 – 1 cup of dry white wine
salt and pepper
squeeze of lemon juice
parsley for garnish

  1. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet until nice and hot.
  2. Once the oil is starting to ripple a bit, drop in the shrimp and move them around for about 1 minute.
  3. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and mix around while cooking to cover.
  4. Add the butter and wine. Less wine if you are serving as a side, more if you want to use this as a dressing for pasta or to dip some crusty bread into.
  5. Cook until the butter melts and the wine reduces a bit.
  6. Taste one and season with salt and pepper if needed, it won’t need much.
  7. You may want to squeeze some lemon juice over the shrimp and garnish with parsley.

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Total cooking time: 5 minutes, serves 4-6

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