We all have those days when we think something out, and in our head we have it planned out just perfectly, but in reality, things just don’t work out as planned. Yesterday was one of those days for me. Things started off normal and fine, but I swear the Gremlins were running amuck in my kitchen while I was at work and running errands.
I am still working on using up the rest of that HUGE, monster zucchini that Larry brought home from work, AND I still have some left. It’s just not going away. I think my kitchen is secretly growing zucchini. So I have been making a lot of things with zucchini, only for Larry to bring home yet another one. The second one is not nearly as large as the first one, but it is still a good sized zucchini. The ironic thing though is that Larry doesn’t even like zucchini. I love them, but Larry only tolerates them and eats them because I make him eat them. He said that “since I make him eat them, he might as well bring them home for free”.
You can see how much I still have left of the first huge, monster zucchini, and now I have a second one I need to hurry up and use as well. Oh well! It’s a good thing I love zucchini, and I am the one who does the cooking, so Larry is just going to have to eat what I make. Hopefully he’ll enjoy it too. 🙂
The second weird thing that happened in my kitchen was my favorite skillet, that you have also come to know and love, finally died. It’s got to be about 25 years old and was definitely well used and well loved, not to mention well seasoned. I pulled it out to start making dinner, and the handle fell apart in my hands. It has cooked its last dish. Good thing I had another in the waiting. I like it, but its just not the same. It’s not my favorite one. Maybe I will grow to love it too. Or maybe, I will just have to buy another one. My favorite skillets have always been cast iron skillets.
I become very attached to my cooking utensils. It seems the older they are, the better I like them. My favorite potato peelers are the cheep ones you buy in the grocery store. I like them much better than the fancy expensive ones. My food processor is about 30 years old. It needs some TLC, and no one likes using it but me, but it was one of the last things my mother gave me, so I will keep on using it until it has processed its last recipe. I also have an old sifter that was my mother’s and that is the only one I use. I have others, but they don’t work as well, and I just don’t like them. Again, I like the older stuff much better than a lot of the newer stuff. They are made better and last literally a lifetime.
And finally, I knew I was going to make something with shrimp for dinner, but this was one of those unusual days where I really had no idea what I was going to make, and I just made it up as I went along. That in and of itself is not an issue. I cook like this a lot. I finally decided I was going to make a Southwestern shrimp dish, which I still did, but again, it just wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. When I went downstairs to pick up some black beans, I wasn’t really looking or paying attention, and picked up a can of dark red kidney beans instead, and I was to lazy and didn’t have enough time to go back down and change them out. No worries. I love beans of all kinds. So here is what I finally ended up making.
I have no idea why the shrimp came out black. Maybe it was from the combination of the dark red kidney beans and the red wine, or maybe it was just those darned gremlins again. Oh well. It still tasted good, so it wasn’t a complete failure.
Jeanne’s Spur-of-the Moment Southwestern Shrimp
1 1/2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced in thin strips
1 zucchini – or in this case, about 1/5 of my HUGE, MONSTER zucchini, sliced thin
1 cup corn
1 can red or black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 red onion sliced very thin
1 TBSP garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic chili
1 tsp chocolate chili spice
1 tsp dried oregano
salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste
1/2 cup dry red wine
Since I was using dried herbs and the vegetables were all hearty vegetables, I just mixed them all together and sauteed them in olive oil for about 7 minutes, or until the onions were translucent and the zucchini was tender.
Once all the vegetables are cooked, add the shrimp and continue to cook.
When the shrimp are cooked, add the red wine and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated by about half.
Add the beans and mix in well.
Serve over rice and enjoy with some of the red wine you added to the pot.
Not my best effort, but certainly not my worst effort either. But like I said, it was a strange day all around. See, even I have those days. The only thing we can do is to laugh it off and just keep on trying. But, it still tasted good. The shrimp had a delicious spicy smoky taste.