Quick Shrimp Scampi
Many scampi recipes involve cooking the shrimp with the other ingredients. You can do that here, too, but the benefit of cooking the shrimp separately is twofold: it's easier not to overcook them, and you can whisk in the butter to create a smooth, emulsified sauce. Serve as an appetizer or as a main course with rice, orzo or your favorite grain, spooning the garlicky sauce over everything. It's also great with crusty bread. Excerpted from The Dinner Plan by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion, published by ABRAMS © 2017.
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.
Photo: Maura McEvoy
3 1/2 fat, 3 1/2 lean-protein