You don’t have to ask me twice to throw on a faceful of sequins and go dancing all night on the 31st, but I understand that some of you might want a slightly more civilized plan to ring in the new year. To that end I give you this: garlic olive oil poached shrimp. If you’re afraid of rubbery, overcooked seafood, fret not-this technique is nearly failsafe. Surrounding shrimp in a warm bath of olive oil cooks them gently and flavors them richly.
This year I’ll be spending the holiday in a hotel in Pittsburgh. We’re opening the national tour of Flashdance the Musical on January 1st, so I imagine my celebrations will be delayed by 24 hours. I’ll be in bed early on the 31st, but no doubt dancing my heart away in leg-warmers come the very next day. I made this video a few months ago with Spectrum, oh how I long for a full kitchen again!
So far my plan to traverse these United States with a wok in hand has not gone awry. I’m frying a few eggs every morning and eating them over whatever vegetables I can find and sautee. I refuse to let the housekeeping staff enter my room, I fear the contraband might get me evicted from this upstate Radisson. I’ve made one meal of seared and simmered chicken legs in spiced black beans (from a can darlings, I’m not yet intrepid enough for dried beans on the road), it left my belly full and the air plump with scent. Thankfully we’re only in most cities for one week, the lingering smell of my transitory cooking will be traded in for a fresh batch of breath in the next hotel.
If you find yourself without grand plans on the 31st, make me a promise: invite your most charming friend to dinner (be that your spouse, roommate, sibling, lover or bestie). Cook a small, elegant dinner for two and toast the new year with a crisp glass of bubbles. Lord knows I love to get dressed up and trot it out to the dancefloor, but the quiet sequins of friendship can trump any evening spent among strangers.
A glass to you and bigger adventures ahead,
- 2 cups Spectrum Mediterranean Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 head Garlic, cloves peeled
- 1/2 pound Shrimp
- Heat oven to 200.
- Pour Spectrum Mediterranean Extra Virgin Olive Oil into baking dish with garlic cloves and slide into oven.
- Infuse oil for at least one hour and up to three in the low temperature oven.
- Remove dish of oil from oven, add shrimp and put dish back into oven for 10 minutes or until shrimp are just pink and cooked through.
- Pluck shrimp from oil, place on top of salad or next to crusty bread with a few of the infused garlic cloves. Toast the new year! Cheers!