Shrimp isn't often seen on the McFrugals grocery list, but an anniversary calls for celebration. The occasional splurge makes living the frugal life more worthwhile, I believe.
Because my pantry and freezer shelves are pretty well-stocked, I was able to devote a good share of our weekly grocery budget to buying some special items for the celebration.
--Shrimp Scampi served over spaghetti **
--Whole-Grain French bread**
--Spinach salad with grape tomatoes, olives and feta cheese
--Sparkling white grape juice
**Recipes at the end of this post.
I found a 12 ounce bag of cooked shrimp for $3.49 and a bottle of sparkling white grape juice for $2.49 at Aldi. While there, I also picked up a bag of spinach for $1.99 and a pint of grape tomatoes for $1.49. I had everything else on hand.
This made a very nice dinner for around $10.00, give or take. Obviously, we did not eat the whole bag of spinach at one setting. :-) If I do say so myself, this was every bit as delicious as eating at a nice restaurant and was a fraction of the price!
This was a new recipe that I received from my sister. Since we have similar tastes and I know she is a fantastic cook, I trusted her when she said that this was really really good! And she was right. This was awesome!!
I used one 12 ounce package of already cooked shrimp instead of the 2 pounds raw shrimp the recipe calls for. We liked the extra sauce which we used for dipping the homemade crusty French bread.
1 c. butter
2 T. prepared Dijon mustard
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. chopped garlic
1 T. chopped fresh parsley or 1 t. dried parsley
2 lbs medium raw shrimp, shelled, deveined, with tails attached
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine everything but the shrimp, and remove when the butter is melted.
Put shrimp in a shallow baking dish, and pour the butter mixture over the shrimp.
Bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and opaque.
Serve over pasta or as an appetizer with toasty bread. I used the above mentioned bag of already cooked shrimp so instead of baking it for 15 minutes, I baked it just until the shrimp were heated through, about 10 minutes.
Makes 4-6 servings
Whole-Grain French Bread
If you're new to baking bread, I suggest you start with French bread. It's easy to make and you don't need any bread pans, just a cookie sheet.
Here I've updated my favorite French Bread recipe from the Not Just Beans cookbook to include freshly ground whole wheat flour. If you don't have access to a grain mill, you can use store-bought whole wheat flour.
This recipe makes 2 small loaves or 1 large loaf. You decide.
1 pkg. or 1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
1 cup warm water(110-115 degrees)
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour. I used Hard Red wheat for this batch and it turned out great. Hard White wheat would work well, too.
1 - 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
4 teaspoons Vital Wheat Gluten or other dough enhancer, optional
In a bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Add oil and salt and enough flour and the gluten to make a stiff(a little sticky though) dough. Knead 10 minutes on a floured board. (If you have a heavy duty mixer, dissolve yeast and water in mixer bowl. Add oil and salt and mix at low speed for a little bit. Then add flour and gluten to make a stiff dough(for best results, dough should be relatively easy to handle but still a little on the sticky side.) Mix on medium to high speed for 5-8 minutes or little longer until dough is mixed well.)
Place in a greased bowl, turning once. Let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 -2 hours. Punch down and let rest 15 minutes. Divide dough in half. Roll each half on a greased surface into a 15-inch long log. Place on greased cookie sheets and make 5 slashes with a sharp knife diagonally across tops. Let rise until double, about 1 hour.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
Optional: Mix a beaten egg and 2 tablespoons milk together to make an egg wash. Brush this mixture over the unbaked loaves before the second rising. This gives the bread a "shiny" finish when baked.
I often will skip the egg wash and just butter the tops of the loaves after baking or leave them plain. Either way is good!
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