Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Shrimp Ragout - 6 points

I am one of the prime enemies of the cow. I love a big juicy hamburger, the kind that drips grease and tomato juice and mayonnaise when you take a bite. I love a medium-rare porter house steak with a thick crust of pepper. I fantasize about succulent pot roast slow cooked with golden potatoes and white onions. None of those things, as you can imagine, is on the Weight Watcher's list of acceptable foods.

Seafood is normally a rare dish in my house, but it is low on points and I am very hungry. So, I made a trip to the store and got to know the man being the seafood counter. I came home with shrimp, scallops, orange roughy, mahi-mahi, and swordfish. I started out with the shrimp. I had an open bottle of a favorite wine, which inspired me to try a shrimp ragout. It was delicious! I was amazing! It was so good I had to close my eyes and curl my toes when I took my first bite.

Shrimp Ragout
1 pounds of shrimp, cleaned
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Saute onions and peppers in oil until tender. Add tomatoes and heat to boiling. Turn down the heat to medium low; add wine, parsley, salt, and pepper. Heat until parsley beings to wilt. Add shrimp. Cook for 15 minutes over medium low heat to allow sauce to thicken.  Makes four, six point servings of YUM.

A note about cooking with wine: bad wine = bad food. I have a friend who is a chef. She swears that it doesn't matter what wine you use when you cook and recommends that you go as cheap as possible to lower costs. I think that she is generally a rational person, but that in this particular department she is full of crap.  Generally when you cook with wine you are making a sauce. You will cook the sauce down after adding the wine, which will concentrate the flavor. Cook down a good wine, and you will be left with a sauce that deeply resonates  every lovely note of your chosen vintage. Cook down a bad wine, and all you will taste is the bitterness of skunky brew. 

For this ragout, I actually used one of my favorite blush wines - Mad Housewife White Zinfandel. The labels are as amusing as the wine is delicious.

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