Gluten Free Shrimp Scampi

Sometimes you have a meal in a restaurant, and it just sticks in your mind until you finally take the time to recreate it at home.  This is one of those meals.  I love seafood pasta and Shrimp Scampi has to be at the top of my list for all-time favorites.

Did you know this dish is super-fast and easy to prepare?  Yes, a five-star dinner that is quick enough to make on a weeknight!

Dinner for two

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Ingredients:

  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup (about half of a 14.5 oz. can) fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. white wine
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 oz. gluten free spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp. shaved Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley

Preparation:

Heat the olive oil in a nonstick deep skillet or Sauteuse Pan.  Add the sliced garlic and red pepper flakes.  Cook for 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes, salt, and wine.  Simmer 10 minutes.  Heat a large pot of salted water for the spaghetti and bring to a boil.  Add the spaghetti and set your timer for 1 minute less than the package directions.

When you have 8 minutes to go on the spaghetti, add the shrimp to the sauce with the lemon juice.  Cook for 3 minutes then turn to finish.

Drain the spaghetti and add it to the pan with 2 tbsp. unsalted butter.  Cook for 1 minute longer to marry the flavors.

Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with fresh Italian parsley and shaved Parmigiano.

Notes ♪♫ I know the food police will say that combining cheese with seafood flies in the face of Italian culinary tradition.  But when I had this dish at a restaurant, it came topped with Parmesan shavings and let me tell you it was out of this world!  Use the good stuff, real Parmigiano Reggiano, shaved fresh right before serving.  I am 100% Italian and trust me, it’s wonderful.

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Fajitas with Spanish Rice

We had a Fajita night this week and here’s what I made.  Steak, peppers and onions cooked stovetop on the griddle with a side of Spanish Rice.  I served it all with gluten free corn tortillas, salsa and sliced fresh mango.

Fajitas are traditionally cooked and served in a cast iron pan like this one.  They make a great presentation, coming to the table with a sizzle.  But – if you don’t have one, or if like me you can’t lift cast iron pans anymore, it’s perfectly fine to use a nonstick griddle or skillet to cook this fun meal.

I mixed up my own seasoning blend for this recipe.  I always have a large collection of individual spices on hand, so I can blend together just enough for a specific meal with nothing wasted.  Another benefit is that I can adjust the flavors to my liking.  More heat?  Add more chipotle.  Don’t like cumin?  Just leave it out.  You get the idea.

Mr. Cucina LOVES bell peppers, and spicy food in general.  He gave me an A+ for this meal!  I loved the Spanish rice.  Considering I make rice several times a week, this was a nice change from my usual preparation.

4 servings

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Ingredients:

Seasoning:

  • 1 tsp. crushed chipotle chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

Fajitas:

  • 3/4 lb. sirloin, skirt steak or flank steak, sliced thin
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 medium red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 lime, half juiced and half for serving
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • gluten free tortillas for serving
  • salsa, for serving (this one is Mr. Cucina’s favorite)
  • fresh mango, for serving (optional, my favorite!)

Preparation:

Combine the spices and mix well.

Add the sliced peppers and onions to a medium bowl with 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. of the spice blend.

In a separate bowl, toss the beef strips with 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. of the spice blend.

Heat a griddle or large nonstick skillet and warm the tortillas, about 30 seconds per side.  Remove to a plate and keep warm.

Add the peppers and onions to the griddle and cook to crisp tender, stirring occasionally.

Push the veggies to the back of the griddle and add the meat.  Cook quickly about 1 minute per side.

Toss with the peppers and onions and squeeze the juice from 1/2 lime over the top.  Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with the tortillas, lime wedges, rice and salsa.

Spanish Rice Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 tbsp. minced bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp. tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. fajita seasoning (from above)

Preparation:

In a small saucepan, combine olive oil, onion and bell pepper and cook over medium low heat until the onions are translucent.  Stir in the rice, tomato sauce and chicken broth.  Cover and cook 15 minutes.  Garnish with cilantro.

Notes ♪♫ Truth be told, I was not a fan of the store-bought gluten free tortillas.  Next time I will make them myself, but that’s another blog post!  Sometimes you need a shortcut, right?  And this dinner was a success in every other way. 🙂

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