1½ pounds (680 g) large shrimp, peeled, deveined and patted dry
Salt and pepper to taste ( ⅛ tsp. each)
3 garlic cloves, minced
Large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
½ cup (120 ml) dry white wine
4 tablespoons (55 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 lemon, zested and halved lengthwise, one half cut into wedges
Large handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (optional)
1In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, then put them in the skillet in a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, until the bottoms of the shrimp begin to turn pink, about 1 minute. Flip the shrimp over and cook until almost cooked through, about 1 minute more. Transfer the shrimp to a plate and set aside.
2Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic, pepper flakes and a little more oil if the pan seems dry; cook, stirring often, until the garlic just starts to turn golden, about 1 minute. Add the wine, scraping up any caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan, and simmer until most of the wine has evaporated.
3Whisk in the butter one piece at a time, then season the sauce with salt and lemon juice from one lemon half. Add the cooked shrimp, any juices accumulated on the plate, the lemon zest and parsley (if using) and toss together until the shrimp are warmed through, about 1 minute. Serve with lemon wedges, if you like.
Tip: As handy as it is to have a stocked freezer, it doesn't help much if dinnertime is approaching and you're staring at a package of rock-hard chicken. Defrosting items in the fridge overnight may be the best and easiest way to ensure they are ready to use, but what if you haven't planned ahead? The microwave is the fastest option, but can be uneven and affect the texture. We prefer this quick-defrost method, which is ideal for thinner ingredients and things like soups that have been frozen flat in resealable plastic bags: Make sure the food is sealed airtight, cover it with cold water in a bowl or pot, and submerge it with a plate or some such. Change the water every 30 minutes until the item is defrosted; breaking up pieces of fish or meat when they are soft enough will speed the process. A small container of pesto takes about 10 minutes, shrimp about 15, and boneless chicken breasts about 40.