Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Red Pesto Shrimp, take one

Last night, I did something that is contradictory to the point of this blog. I cooked for myself. And it was delicious. And lonely.

Jeff was having dinner with his family again, and I didn't go. After doing all that research for pesto, I was curious to try sun dried tomato pesto. We had some sun dried tomatoes in the refrigerator, so I considered making some. When I'm not eating with Jeff, I either eat horribly, or treat myself in some way. Usually its the first one. Last night, it was the latter.

I did some quick research before my shift ended at work, about what ingredients were usually in red pesto. Turns out, it's usually the same stuff in regular pesto, plus one. So, I hurry home, take puppy out, bring her back in, and start blending.

I decided to not use a recipe, which usually ends horribly, especially for things I've never made before. I was smart enough to record the amount of everything I used, and it just so happened that I did amazingly well. It looked good, and the texture was alright, if not a little chunky. The different layers of flavors that occurred even from a small taste is what amazed me. The olive oil, the basil, then the tomato and lemon.

After the pesto was made, I set about preparing shrimp to eat it with. I decided to grill a kabob of shrimp, which was a brave move on two fronts; one, the fact I was using a grill without Jeff around, and two, the fact I havent cooked anything besides burgers on a grill.

I had turned the grill on once before, but only under supervision (I insisted). This time, I was able to turn it on successfully with the first try, but then I turned the knobs the wrong way and the flame died off. I opened it to let the extra gas out, closed it, pondered a moment about what I turned wrong, lit it...and BOOM. Oh ****. I stood there, frozen, while the dog and I just stared at the grill. That could have been much worse. My moment of pondering had been too long.

After shelling and deveining the shrimp, I stuffed them on the skewer and coated the shrimp with a layer of olive oil. I kept the basting brush and olive oil outside with me, so I could continue coating occasionally on the grill. Once I achieved what I guessed might be a good temperature in the grill, I put my one skewer in. I've cooked shrimp enough on a skillet to confidently know when it is done by sight, but I wasn't entirely sure how long it would take out here. It ended up being three minutes, flipping once each minute, coating again each time I flipped. I wonder now if I only need to coat it once, as the end result was a little oily (on top of the pesto having oil in it too). Does anyone have any suggestions regarding this?

They tasted AMAZING. This has to be the luckiest I've ever gotten with cooking without a recipe, on the first try. Of course, I made too much pesto (what else is new), but I'm planning on trying the recipe with a few more kabob items tonight with Jeff, so it will be used.

Too bad Jeff's brother doesn't eat anything that swims, otherwise this would be a great recipe to make them.

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