Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dill Shrimp and Mushrooms: No Small Feat

Poor dill, eternally confined to pickle seasonings. Tonight I sprung him from that stereotypical prison and together we wrecked delicious havoc on my shrimp and mushrooms. Our accomplices were few; admittedly, dill did most of the work. So, you might want to rethink your preconceptions about his “pickle past”; dill’s influence is sure to grow in your kitchen after your first few encounters.
Dill has a very aromatic smell and a grassy, crisp taste, with some lemon, caraway or even pine aftertastes. It is best used in its fresh ferny form I am told. However, when your budget for herbs and spices is limited, a tiny bottle of dried dill will serve you well. Also, while we are on the topic of fresh foods, I also used frozen shrimp even though the ‘fresh’ ones were on sale. Why? Well, first off because I have developed a bad habit of letting fresh things go bad because I buy too much food on a regular basis. Second, frozen shrimp is flash frozen when caught. You could think of these shrimp in a state of suspended…freshness? Maybe that’s pushing it. The point is that they taste the same, but are usually cheaper and stay longer in the freezer. There is no “use ‘em or lose ‘em” game.
The recipe itself is simple. The cooking process, however, can get a bit tricky. Overcooking mushrooms or shrimp can turn light delicacies to pieces of chewy leather. Mmmmm. So be aware of these signs:
-mushrooms should be darker in color and just fork-tender
-shrimp should be light pink throughout – once they have curled, take them off!
Enjoy this dish by itself for a light spring/summer meal, or pair it with cucumber, mild cheese, cream sauces, potatoes or some fluffy lemon rice for a side. Just remember that the shrimp and mushrooms cook relatively quick, so plan your other dishes accordingly – cold shrimp and mushrooms, yuck!
Either way, dill will fit your dinner bill.

Dill Shrimp and Mushrooms
9 raw shrimp
8 mushrooms, sliced about ¼ in thick
2 T olive oil
1 T butter
1 T lemon juice
1 t or so of dill [to taste, really]
Salt and pepper
1. Thaw shrimp in cold water for about 15 min. Clean and devein shrimp.
2. In large skillet, heat 2 T olive oil over medium heat. Meanwhile, wash and slice mushrooms.
3. Once oil is hot, add mushrooms. Cook for about 5 min, or until brown and fork-tender. Remove and keep warm.
4. Add butter and lemon juice to skillet. Add shrimp; cook for about 2-3 min, or until pink throughout.
5. Season with salt, pepper and dill. Add mushrooms back in, toss.
6. Serve!
Makes 1 serving. NOM: 9.5

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