An Elegant Dinner for One: Zucchini Ribbons with Shrimp

Tired after a long day?

Hungry, too?

If you have 5 shrimp & a zucchini, you have dinner.

This is the kind of experiment that makes me really glad I opted for a home cooked meal tonight instead of take out Thai.  If you’re in the mood for pasta but don’t necessarily have the patience to boil water and cook it, get a zucchini and a vegetable peeler. Peel the zucchini into ribbons and set it aside.

Put the shrimp in a bowl with just a few drops of oil and toss them with your favorite seasoning. Tonight I used Old Bay, because that’s what was within arm’s reach. Set a 8″ or 9″ skillet over medium-high heat, then add a pat of butter (let’s say a teaspoon). As the butter melts, add about the same amount of oil and swirl around the pan to coat.  Then add your shrimp.

While the shrimp cook—about 3 minutes on each side—chop a clove or two of garlic (I mean, it’s garlic. Garlic is to shrimp what jelly is to peanut butter. You want more than one clove? Have more.)  Remove the shrimp from the pan, and add the zucchini ribbons, garlic, a pinch of salt, and a generous pinch of ground black pepper. Hear the sizzle, smell the butter. Sauté the zucchini until the ribbons start to get soft and flexible. Toss the shrimp back in to the pan, stir, and then add a splash of wine, stock, beer, or whatever you have around.  For heat, add some crushed red pepper. For a little punch, add some grated cheese (I had some asiago on hand).

In less than 15 minutes, you have prepared an elegant and healthy dinner. And look how pretty it is!

Congratulate yourself on making it through another week, take a sip of wine and eat up. You deserve it.

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