Enjoying shrimps with a twist: Shrimp scampi or pancit? ;)
If there’s one food that reminds us of the Philippines, it is seafood. After all, the 7,107 islands embraced by the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean are teeming in seafood. And because we are islanders, pining to swim in the Philippines’ crystal clear beaches while enjoying a lunch of inihaw na panga ng tuna (broiled tuna jaw), halabos na hipon (boiled shrimps) with green mangoes and bagoong (fermented shrimp paste) has always been in our minds, especially at this time of the year.
Our North American colleagues find it strange that we, Pinoys, enjoy eating fried tilapia while we wonder why a lot of them love eating barbecue. Perhaps, it is the fact that Ontario is a province surrounded by an abundance of agricultural land and freshwater lakes so the closest to finding seafood is by scrounging the freezers of Asian supermarkets. In fact, tilapia, which we, Pinoys, consider as ordinary, appears to be a delicacy in this part of the world! New York is probably more fortunate because fresh seafood is more accessible via the commercial fishing industry found in Long Island, which is geographically closer to the Atlantic Ocean. Fellow dad Robert probably gets his seafood relatively fresh and maybe for a cheaper price. 😀
At any rate, seafood came to mind when I was trying to think of a recipe which I can share for this week. My wife’s Shrimp Scampi is probably my best bet since I saw how our kids clamored for more when she cooked it. I found out that scampi is a small kind of lobster, Nephrops norvegicus, and that shrimp scampi come on pasta. It’s amusing to hear that one of our kids even thinks that the dish is very close to our pancit! I’d like to think that this is good because it only shows that our kids’ palates can adjust to the changes of coming to North America while retaining the Pinoy schema they have brought with them from home. 😀 Ciao!
• 1 tablespoon salt plus 1 1/2 teaspoons
• 3/4 pound linguine or spaghetti
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
• 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
• 1 pound large shrimp (about 16 shrimp), peeled and deveined
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
• 1/2 lemon, zest grated
• 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
• 1/4 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds
• 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguine or spaghetti, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.
In another large pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Saute for about 1 minute. Add the shrimp, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper and saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.
When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine or spaghetti and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well, and serve.
• When I use red pepper flakes, I do not mix in right away because others, especially children, may not like it hot.
• I often substitute the pepper flakes with chili powder for a milder chili flavor. When using chili powder, I mix it in like what the recipe prescribes. My children like this. 🙂