I wanted to write an honest Eats of Eden blog entry to celebrate two happy things: my friend Kiersten Krajcar's fantastic new food blog on weeknight cooking, and the sent status of my last graduate school packet this semester. Me and my typewriter haven't been the best of friends the last month or so, and even writing a happy blog post has made me want to hide. But this is prime time, with Thanksgiving and such right around the corner, so I'm going to be taking advantage of my school break to share some fun stuff.
This recipe, for Kiersten, is an easy weeknight favorite I've used since ripping it out of Cooking Light in our first apartment. For some reason, this is one of Matt's most-requested dishes. So much so that I got really sick of it for a few years. I decided to make it last week with some leftover mashed potatoes, which is the best occasion for it: that way, you only have to make the super-easy shrimp stir-fried topping and not worrying about boiling and mashing up potatoes. The original recipe called for crawfish, but since I never have those around, I've always used shrimp, with excellent results. The cayenne and paprika turn the shrimp a blushing red color, the perfect hue to add some brightness to fall and winter plates.
This is a great way to get out of the weeknight chicken rut, which is a particular danger for me. Italian. Mexican. Asian. Chicken, chicken, chicken. Break the cycle! At least, that's the advice I'm trying to give myself. You carry on with whatever's working in your life.
Easy Red Confetti Shrimp
4 cups mashed potatoes (leftovers ideally; otherwise boil 1 1/2 pounds of sliced potatoes, then mash with milk, salt, pepper and 3/4 shredded Gouda cheese)
2 tbsp butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 green pepper, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels (the Super Sweet Corn from Trader Joe's works great)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne (or a little less if you don't like it spicy)
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lb shrimp, fresh or frozen and thawed
1/2 cup chopped onions
Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, green pepper and garlic; saute 5 minutes. Stir in corn, saute 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, thyme and shrimp, saute 5 minutes until thoroughly heated through. Remove from heat and serve over mashed potatoes, garnished with green onions.