So, I've been clipping recipes when I can find them, wanting to stretch my range of preparing food. Most of what I eat is frozen->nuke->eat, so occasionally I like something with a little more effort. The double-edge of that sword is that it then, by definition, requires more effort. I sit typing this with two sinks full of dishes right now...

I cut this recipe out of Parade magazine a few months ago (fuck you, yes, I get recipes out of Parade magazine) and kind of shuffled it aside for later. I decided this past weekend was "later" enough, so I started packing in the items I'd need to make it. Unfortunately, I didn't read it too thoroughly or I would've approached a few things differently... and may have backed down from it entirely.

Here's the ingredients:

2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 pounds large shrimp (peeled and deveined), rinsed and patted dry
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 head radicchio (or 2 heads, if small), outer leaves discarded, inner leaves separated, rinsed and dried
2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut into 8 pieces each
8 ounces fresh feta cheese cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup whole mint leaves, coarsely chopped

1. Prepare the vinaigrette: Whisk the vinegar, mustard, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the oil until thickened. Set aside. (Makes 1/3 cup.)
2. Toss together the shrimp, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Let rest for 15 minutes, tossing once.
3. Prepare the grill with hot coals. Thread the shrimp on 12 metal skewers or grill in batches. Grill the shrimp over high heat for no more than 2 minutes per side, turning carefully. Remove the shrimp to a large bowl.
4. Trim the tough white bottom section off each radicchio leaf, then add the leaves to the shrimp along with the tomatoes, cheese and mint. Toss with the reserved vinaigrette. Serve in a large, decorative bowl.

Serves 8. Per serving: 270 calories, 8g carbohydrate, 33g protein, 11g fat, 275mg cholesterol.

So, yeah. My alterations, in rough order:
First shopping trip:
Mint? Fuck that. I'm not picking up "fresh mint."
Zest a lemon? TWO fucking lemons?! I have lemon juice in a little lemon shaped container already... hey, here's some lemon peel in the spice aisle. Good to go.
3 pounds of shrimp is a lot... I've only got 1lb frozen right now. Here's a 2lb bag. Good to go.
Radicchio? Eh, this other green leafy stuff is good enough.
Dang. I have to buy Dijon mustard. Oh, hey, the organic stuff is cheaper. Neat.
Feta, feta, feta... I'll get the crumbled lower fat stuff.
Double-checking at the apartment last night:
Fuck! 2 pounds of tomatoes? I have 2 tomatoes. Guess I'm stopping by the commisary on the way home...
At the commisary:
I've never EVER seen a plum tomato. Two pounds of these should be just as good.
Prepping to make it today:
Huh. Grilled shrimp. Wonder how I missed that part? Skewers? Metal skewers? Damn. Lemme get the shrimp out... aw, geez, they're way too small to skewer and grill. Skillet it is.
Salt and pepper to taste = maybe I'll throw some pepper in.
How much zest is on a fucking lemon, anyway?
How much juice is in a fucking lemon, anyway?
Damn, 2lb is a lot of tomatoes.
I don't think I have a bowl big enough to fit all this.
I'm not sure I'm measuring out 1/4 of this... eh. That'll do.

I'm sure I knocked some of the goodness out of this recipe by all the substitutions, laziness and other detractions, but it's still really good. I doubled up on my portion (I think), so I'll get 3 more meals out of this... I guess that means lunch and dinner tomorrow (maybe breakfast), since I don't expect it to keep very well.

Still, at least I tried something new.

on Apr 11, 2007
I'm impressed. You have to be creative and make substitutions sometimes. I tend to get in a rut and make the same old things. I need to start trying some new recipes. I have never made shrimp. I think I'm always afraid that I'm going to get bad seafood and get everyone sick.

btw, it will impress the women to find a man who can cook. Even more impressive is a man who does the dishes afterwards. I love a man with dishpan hands.
on Apr 11, 2007
At least you can cook. If it werent for Greywar I might as well buy stock in KFC, Taco Hell, and Korean establishments as a good portion of my income goes into those places anyhow.

Locomama is right.....a man who can cook is always sexy. A man that cook and clean is great, too.

Anyhow, I hope things are going well for you out in the land of incompetence. I tried calling you, but no success. I *may* be out there in June on TDY....just a rumor thus far but if I do get to go out there, I will defintely drop you a line.

Miss you and as you!