Monday, February 8, 2010

The instant party

You’ve got last minute drop in guests (the nerve!), everybody is feeling a little peckish, and you want to throw together some memorable nibbles for an impromptu cocktail hour.

Here’s what to do: Warm up some nuts (either in a pan, or in the oven with some olive oil and dried rosemary), put out a bowl of good olives, a loaf of baguette, and make this easy shrimp dish.

It’s like five minutes to fancy.


(makes one tapas-sized dish)


1 head roasted garlic (see recipe below. If you don’t have a roasted head hanging around and don’t have a spare hour, thinly slice a few cloves of garlic and cook in a pan of olive oil until crisp and browned. Drain on paper towel.)

21-24 raw, shell-on easy peel large shrimp

lots of good salt and pepper and chili flakes and olive oil


1. For roasted garlic, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut ½ inch off the top of the cloves, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and wrap in foil. Baked for about 35 minutes or until soft.

2. Preheat oven to 500 degrees (or hit the broiler button). Toss dry shrimp with a goodly amount of salt and pepper and chili flakes and olive oil and the roasted garlic that you’ve squeezed from the clove casings. Mix well, then pour into a snappy oven-proof baking dish and cook for 5-6 minutes (stirring once midway) or until shrimp or pink and cooked. Serve with baguette or other favourite crusty dipping bread.

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