SHRIMP IN BASIL BUTTER
Whether you take the do it yourself route by learning to handle a cast net or simply buy your shrimp at a local grocery or seafood market, this super-abundant crustacean lends itself to a wide variety of preparation techniques. This one combines the appealing taste of the versatile herb, basil, with real butter, pasta, cheese and shrimp for a filling main dish.
• ¼ cup torn fresh basil
• 1 ½ sticks butter, softened (use the real thing)
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
• ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• 16 ounces fresh linguini or angel hair pasta
• 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled
• Butter for sautéing
Combine the basil, 1 ½ cups butter, garlic, salt, pepper, and cheese in a food processor and run until smooth. Refrigerate, covered (can be kept for up to three days). Cook pasta al dente using package directions. Sauté the shrimp in butter in a large skillet for two to three minutes or until they turn pink.
Toss the butter mixture, which should be removed from the refrigerator in advance to soften, with the shrimp and pasta in a large bowl. Top with additional Parmesan cheese if desired. Makes four hefty servings.
A fruit salad and crunchy garlic bread make nice accompaniments.
Anyone who likes onions has to love the ultimate in the onion family, the Vidalia variety. This sweet, succulent vegetable partners well with many types of venison dishes. Here’s one which features venison steaks that is easily and quickly prepared.
• 4 tablespoons margarine (or butter) divided
• 4 venison steaks of 6 to 8 ounces
• Salt and pepper
• 1 large Vidalia onion, sliced
• 1 cup sliced mushrooms
• 1 cup red wine
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
Heat two tablespoons of margarine in a heavy skillet (I’m partial to cast iron) and fry steaks over high heat quickly (about three minutes per side). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove from skillet and keep hot. Add remaining two tablespoons margarine to skillet and sauté onions and mushrooms until tender. Add one cup red wine and bring to a boil. Reduce for two to three minutes.
Pour sauce over steaks and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately. Serves four.
Oven roasted potatoes and a tossed green salad are nice side dishes.
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