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Roasted shrimp – it’s what’s for lunch!!!

Dinner Lunch

Roasted shrimp – it’s what’s for lunch!!!

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One of the joys of lunch is that, at least in this day and time, it’s usually a lighter meal, and so many times preparation is the simple assembly of already prepared items. Unlike the lunches of my youth (and I must confess that ‘back when’ we had breakfast, dinner, and supper, not breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the mid-day meal was usually quite hefty), lunch doesn’t consist of many courses, nor large helpings or servings of the courses that are prepared and presented. What lunch does provide – perhaps more than other mealtimes – is the opportunity to prepare something usually easier, sometimes ahead of time, and, many times, more colorful than, say, dinner.

Let’s start with something quick and colorful, like roasted shrimp. Besides being easy and making for a great presentation, there is so much that you can do with it – add it to a salad, put it in a taco with some mango salsa, toss it with some tomato, avocado, and a tangy dressing. It comes pretty close to offering endless possibilities.

My current method for preparing shrimp merits a nod to Ina Garten, and her recipe for roasted shrimp cocktail.  To serve 4 people I usually buy a pound of peeled and deveined shrimp (tails on or off – your preference and depending on availability; I usually opt for off).  If you have some left over it makes a great salad the next day.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Put the shrimp in a large bowl and drizzle olive oil over the shrimp – enough that they are all coated once you toss them (vinyl gloves are a real blessing at this stage so can use your hands).  Add freshly ground salt and pepper and toss until the shrimp appear uniformly coated with the oil, salt and pepper (take it easy on the salt; you can’t see it as well and it’s easy to overdo it).

Place the shrimp on the prepared baking sheet (leave a small amount of space between them so they roast, not steam) and put them in the oven for 8-10 minutes.  That’s it – shrimp done.  Put what you need for lunch aside (cover in foil to be heated for serving, or chilled, depending on your menu) and put the rest in a container in the refrigerator for a later time.

As pictured, roasted shrimp are served atop feta slaw, with corn salsa and avocado.

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