LUCY BURDETTE: (Whew, that's a mouthful for a name, isn't it? If anyone has a better suggestion, I'm happy to take it!)
In my May release from the Key West food critic mystery series, TOPPED CHEF, one of the contestants makes shrimp and grits as his specialty dish for the first leg of the contest. However, he tells the audience that Key West has a secret weapon--Key West pinks. This is really true. Also known as "Tortugas" named after the region where they are caught, the shrimp are local and fresh and a lovely light pink color that really steals the show. Now I'm spoiled: I hate to use anything else.
Here's a tasty, easy dish that shows any fresh shrimp to their best advantage.
8 oz Baby Bella mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
3/4 pound Key West pinks, shelled, deveined, rinsed and patted dry8-10 oz fresh spinach, washed and roughly chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 large clove garlic, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup broken cashews
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 box linguine or fettuccine
3 tbsp butter
Mix together in a glass bowl the chicken broth, cornstarch, red pepper flakes, and lemon, and set that aside.
In a large frying pan, saute the mushrooms in the butter until they release their liquid and begin to gently brown. Set those mushrooms aside. Melt another tablespoon of butter and add the cleaned shrimp, the garlic, and the cashews and stir fry until the shrimp are barely pink. Add the mushrooms and the liquid to the pan and simmer until slightly thickened. (Let's say 3 or 4 minutes.) Add the spinach and stir.
At this point, you can put a pot of water on the stove to heat, grab a Red Stripe beer or a glass of wine and watch the sun go down.
Once the water boils, cook the pasta until tender, then dump it into a large bowl. Warm the shrimp mixture, add to the pasta, gently mix it all together. Add the grated parmesan on top and serve!
TOPPED CHEF will be out in May! But you can pre-order the book today. And then please follow Lucy on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest too.