The Perfect Guest…

29Dec10

A few weeks ago I made dinner for some friends (please stop yelling “Where the hell was I !@#$%?!).  I was really excited that for once I had more than 11 minutes to throw together a dinner, and was actually able to produce a lasagna, a Cesar salad, a caprese salad stack, and a pie.  OK fine, the pie was left over from the night before but that’s completely irrelevant at the moment so stop dwelling.  After proudly placing my beautiful (me? biased? noooooo) lasagna on the table, my friend (male friend nevertheless) quickly and politely declined.  *insert shocked facial expression with wide eyes here*  My reaction?  Totally normal – cold sweat, anger, fear. What?! Why?! Does he already know it’s horrible?  Is he allergic to…lasagna?!  Should the serving spatula in my hand accidentally fly across the table? I quietly sat down and began to mindlessly curse chew, all while periodically shooting angry glances at my so-called guest.  And here, amongst my thoughts on the trajectory of that spatula, my Satanic expression quickly turned into an idiotic grin as I noticed the rapidly disappearing plate of bruschetta.  Yes, the boring ol’ chopped tomatoes with basil on toasted bread bruschetta.  And guess who consumed 97% of it?!  That’s right!  My previous frenemy, now turned bff who spent the next 3 hours asking if I had any more left over.  Read between the lines: there are guests who are unbelievably excited about a tomato sandwich for dinner!!!  These are the keepers people!  Not those so called childhood friends who constantly ask about their lobster risotto.  However, I am no guest, and far from perfect, so I set out on a search for something that would satisfy both guest and moi.  Searching technique, you ask?  Easy, I just add “shrimp” to whatever it is I’m looking for, excluding chocolate and fruit tarts (hey, even I have some sort of standards).  And thanks to my fellow chocolate lover Giada De Laurentiis, I am now able to incorporate my favorite food group into my bruschetta V2.0.

The Carb:

- Ciabatta bread, sliced
- Olive Oil
- garlic clove

Top It:

- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large shallot, sliced
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 lbs shrimp, peeled and devained (yea yea, of course I used more)
- 6 roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 3 tbsp fresh tarragon leaves*, chopped
- 1 cup arugula, chopped
- 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese**
- salt and pepper

* I used to laugh at anyone who described tarragon leaves as being similar to licorice.  Upon purchasing the leaves, I took a small bite to see what it really tastes like.  Well, uhm…no comment…but who the hell would have thought that leaves could taste like candy?!

** Original recipe calls for 1/2 cup but 1/4 is enough for me so taste and adjust as you like.

Directions:

Drizzle bread with olive oil and bake in oven until golden brown; rub with garlic while warm and set aside.

Heat the oil in a skillet, add shallots and garlic, and cook until soft for a couple of minutes.  Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, add to the skillet and remove once they are pink/cooked through (about 3-5 minutes).  Chop and set aside.

In the same skillet, add the tomatoes,  season with salt and pepper, and cook until the tomatoes begin to soften (about 4-5 minutes).  Turn the heat to high and add the wine, making sure to scrape up the stuff stuck to the bottom of the pan.  Cook a few minutes, then add the stock, and let it reduce.  Remove from heat and add the tarragon, arugula, mascarpone cheese, and shrimp.  Stir until the mixture is creamy. Season with salt and pepper, and place over toast.

P.S. Note to self, next time skip the lasagna.

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6 Responses to “The Perfect Guest…”

  1. Why make lasagna, which frankly sounds like a pain in the a$$, when you can have SHRIMP! MMMMM shrimp….

  2. 3 Vika

    Vikochka, did you know that one of my favorite food is Bruschetta!!! I love it! The best bruschetta I ate was in CinqueTerre. The young handsome boy made it (Hm… maybe because he was handsome the bruschetta tasted so good…..). Anyway, what I want to say is that your article made my mouth watered. The recipe sounds very attractive and the photos (I am sure it’s your lovey-dovey dear husband Igorechek took them, am I right?) are so impressive and natural that I can eat my tong right now!

    Looking forward to the new dishes and new articles!

  3. 4 Julia @ DimpleArts Photography

    I am not worried about why I wasn’t there, but more why I wasn’t provided a tasting:) But I gotta give credit where credit is due, the shrimp bruschetta is to die for:) If you just serve that, I could eat it all night.

  4. Quick & simple! Way to be! I like the pictures too.


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