Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Oh Happy Day!

Today is a great day, a historic day, and a fresh start for this country. Being the news junkie that I am, I have read many, many interesting political stories in the past several weeks (well, actually months or dare I say years). But of everything that I have read in the days coming up to the Inauguration of Barack Obama as our 44th president, the most interesting to me was the article in the Los Angeles Times' Food Section about the meals served at the Inaugural celebrations. It was a brief history of menus past, a reflection on both the times and the men who have become president.

I had tentatively planned on preparing my own version of the menu that was being served at the Inaugural luncheon (variety of wild poultry with sour cherry chutney). But since my kids didn't eat last night, and I am pretty sure that duck breast with sour cherry chutney wouldn't be high on their list of desirable dinners, I decided to have mercy on them and cook something else, saving the meal of duck breasts for folks who will appreciate it more. And I do believe that at least 2/3 of my children will enjoy this meal...what more could a mother ask for? Evidently this dish is one of Obama's favorites, so I guess it is a good substitute. Although this isn't his lovely wife's recipe, it is a classic one I have cooked many times over.

Shrimp Linguine

1 pound shelled, de-veined shrimp
2 t butter
2 t olive oil
5 garlic cloves, finely minced
zest from one lemon
1 C dry white wine (something you would drink)
1/2 C heavy cream
1/2 C loosely packed parsley, finely chopped
1 t salt
1 pound linguine, cooked according to package directions

Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and lemon zest for about 1 minute, or until it begins to get fragrant. Add shrimp and saute, stirring occasionally until shrimp is just barely cooked through, about 3 minutes. Do not overcook the shrimp. Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Pour wine and cream into pan juices and bring to a boil. Simmer until sauce is reduced some, about 5 minutes, watching carefully so that it doesn't boil over. Season with salt. Return shrimp back to pan and add parsley and cooked linguine. Toss to coat. If necessary, add a ladle of pasta cooking water to moisten a bit. Serve with lemon wedges.

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