I may be in my mid to late 20s, but I don’t think I will ever be too old for sleepovers! They are fun and free. A FUNemployed approved activity, for sure!
Amanda is one of my best friends from college. Initially, we had connected because we were both born and raised in New England—but surrounded by mid-westerners and west-coasters at school. But, it didn’t take long before our love of theatre, laughing, and our utter stupidity bonded us together.
But now, so many years later, our friendship is still as alive and crazy as ever.
What’s our secret to the perfect friendship? Its not that we have things in common--and certainly not that we make each other laugh- nor does it have anything to do with the fact we can pick up right where we left off no matter how long its been.
No. None of that.
Its food! In a very image conscious industry, Amanda and I have still maintained our love of food! Not the green kind—oh no—but the greasiest, butteriest, fattiest foods! It’s our treat when we see each other, since sex is absolutely out of the question...
Sharing all your secrets over mozzarella sticks and chicken fingers—you really think you know someone.
And then—one day-- everything changes.
Amanda came out to me last year. She’s a vegetarian.
I may take heat for this, but I feel like her new lifestyle is a choice...
At first it hurt. It felt like all our pepperoni pizzas and chicken quesadillas were a lie. But, there is a silver lining. Amanda identifies as ‘pescatarian’—I suppose that makes the transition easier. Not quite vegetarian and not quite carnivore-- the bisexual of eating habits, if you will.
Any who— it may not be FUNemployed friendly, but we are having fish tonight in her honor! To make up for the extra cost of our protein-of-choice, all the other accoutrement will be coming from the cabinet!
As a special treat, I am going to make garlic-butter shrimp over couscous and sautéed spinach.
This is a recipe I tweeked, after one of my Food Network binges from Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman.
An important note about frozen shrimp: here’s the deal—most shrimp you get at the grocery store is frozen, even if you buy from the fish counter. So, buying a bag and keeping it in the freezer isn’t terrible (and it is certainly cheaper).
Regardless of what you choose to purchase, make sure the shrimp is completely defrosted before you use it—pat dry before you cook. Overcooked shrimp is rubbery and tough—waste of money.
If applicable, always devein your shrimp—that’s all shrimp poop! Don’t eat shrimp poop!
Add salt and pepper to your shrimp and mix well-- my recipe for this is at the end of the entry... so for now, just enjoy the steps and photos :)
Now for the flavor stuff:
Dice the butter into cubes and set aside.
Whisk minced garlic, lemon juice, parsley, and red pepper flakes together. Coat the butter cubes in your mixture.
Add your mixture to a skillet pan to start melting your butter and activating your garlic.
Add the shrimp and cook for 5-6 minutes.
So much butter-- so little time--
And don't forget the sides!
Time to plate and pour the wine! (Sauv Blanc for this dish)
Super easy. Super fast. And super pescatarian. Yet delicious for all!
The prep work and washing the dishes goes much faster if you're belting showtunes. Tonight, we served our best renditions of "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" and "Tick, Tick...Boom!"
Totals Time: After buying the shrimp, the damn vegetarian vegetable stock, a lemon, and spinach (I had everything else)-- it ended up being $6.50 per person. MUCH cheaper than going to a restaurant-- and I am stuffed!
Amanda was responsible for dessert.
Extra long jog tomorrow, but totally worth it!
I love having Amanda over. It's nice to be around people that accept you no matter how dorky you are. To end the night-- movie, gossip, bed. Not necessarily in that order.
Thanks for stopping by my blog :) Check back again soon for more FUNemployed adventures! Or keep up by following me on Twitter (@kenarpino)
If you want to try to make this for yourself at home—here is what I suggest, but dress it up to your liking!:
1lb frozen shrimp, completely defrosted
½ stick butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 tbs dried parsley
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp salt
& Pepper to taste
1 cup Israeli couscous
1 cup vegetable stock (if you’re stuck with a vegetarian)