-Cycle 2, Dinner 176-
30 (Thu) June 2011
with Cherry Tomatoes
* * * * *
For 2 reasons, I've decided to develop "signature" dishes and give them names. The first reason is purely narcissistic, delusions of culinary grandeur borne of little more than a subjective belief not necessarily reflected in objective 3rd-party review that some of my creations are pretty good and that they are, in fact, my own creations. The second reason is more practical, impatience with trying to come up with dish descriptions that have become increasingly overlong, clumsy, and in themselves pretentious for their implicit insistence that all the stated ingredients are essential and demand recognition.
Thus, I present Spaghetti Dominico. It's a follow-up to a dish that I made a couple weeks back (see 2.165 Spaghetti with Shrimp in Basil-Cream Sauce), but more refined. The key components are shrimp, shrimp stock, and fresh basil. As I didn't follow a specific recipe and eyeballed the amounts of various ingredients during the process, I'll just summarize and approximate how it went. Shell and devein 8 whole shrimp. In a small pot over medium heat, combine 2 cups of water with the shells, a few slices of carrots and celery and onions and leeks, a few cloves of garlic, a bay leaf, and parsley stems. Simmer for 30 minutes until reduced to 1 cup, occasionally skimming the foam that rises to the surface. Meanwhile, in a separate large pot over high heat, bring 1 liter of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil and add 250 grams of spaghetti, cooking for 8 minutes until just short of al dente. While the stock is reducing and the pasta is boiling, in a separate pan over low heat, add 2 tablespoons of EVOO and saute, in order, 1/2 cup of diced onion, 1/4 cup of diced celery, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste, a combined 1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano and thyme, and 2 tablespoons fresh basil julienne--5 minutes total. Increasing the heat to medium-high, add 1/2 cup dry white wine and cook until the alcohol has evaporated--1 minute. Strain the stock and add to the sauce in the pan, along with 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of fresh grated parmesan cheese--1 minute. Add shrimp and 4 halved/seeded cherry tomatoes (optional) and stir--30 seconds. Drain the spaghetti and immediately add to the pan, and stir-1 minute. Garnish with basil leaf and fresh parsley. Done.
Dominic loves it. It's named after him, after all.