Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dinner & a Movie

Last night, I lamented to my husband that I felt like I was the only person in the world who still hadn't seen "Inception" (translation: I was the only person the world who hadn't seen Leonardo DiCaprio be completely luscious in "Inception"). He agreed to take me after dinner. Hooray!

Dinner was a blogworthy event itself though, Leonardo or no. I bookmarked this recipe from The Kitchn while we were in Hawaii and it did not disappoint.

 with a side of perfectly steamed asparagus - my favorite!

Chili, Lemon, & Basil Shrimp with Israeli Couscous
from The Kitchn

For the couscous:
Olive oil
1 cup Israeli (pearl) couscous
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the shrimp:
4 large cloves garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes, to taste
1 pound cooked shrimp, deveined and tails removed
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the couscous and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it starts smelling a little toasty. Add the lemon juice and stir until the lemon juice evaporates. (Reserve the lemon zest for the shrimp.) Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer then turn the heat to low and cover the pan tightly. Cook for 15 minutes, then take off the heat and let the pan sit, still covered, until you are ready to serve the couscous.

In a 10-inch sauté pan, heat another drizzle of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes and cook gently for about 5 minutes, or until the garlic is golden and fragrant. Pat the shrimp dry, turn the heat up to high, and add the shrimp to the pan. Cook quick, turning the shrimp frequently and stirring the oil and garlic into the shrimp. As soon as the shrimp is heated through (about 3 minutes), turn off the heat and stir in the basil and the lemon zest. 
It seriously took 15 minutes, top to bottom. Winner!

Just a few modifications:
  1. I used regular couscous because I didn't have ready access to Israeli. I also didn't toast it, although it is really delicious when you take the time to do that. 
  2. Brian and I like our food spicy, so the "pinch" of red pepper flakes was not enough. 
  3. Also, 1 pound of shrimp for two people is... a lot of shrimp. I actually only used 3/4 lb and we still have lunch leftovers. If you truly want a dish for two with no leftovers, you could probably halve the recipe and be totally fine.

Inception? Yes, please!

I won't ruin it for you if, in fact, I was not the only person in world who had not seen it yet, but this was an incredible movie. It was kind of like a cross between The Matrix and Oceans Eleven and Memento and I loved every second of it and I want to see it again (and not just for Leo, athough he didn't hurt). This kind of sums up how I felt at the end.

Incidentally, if you have seen the film and are as enamored with it as I am, the article that the picture above came from is a compelling read. Which theory do you subscibe to?

I'm somewhere between #1 and #2. And that's all I'll say to avoid spoiling it for the rest of you!