Dec 6, 2010

IHCC: Make It Simple...or what I seemed to expect

This week the I Heart Cooking Clubs Giada Theme is "Make it Simple--The Holiday Madness is Upon Us!"  (Quickies and Easy Fare). 
Click below to see the dishes or for info on how to join.

I tend to be a long and slow kinda girl.  But I'm not above a quickie to get me through in a pinch.

My favorite quickie dish also happens to be my favorite Giada recipe.   That was my 2nd blog post, actually!  Maybe it's time to try something else?

When I think quickie meal, it's usually pasta, fish, or shrimp.  All are versatile and cook quickly.  We love shrimp around here.  We also love spicy food.  Giada's Shrimp Fra Diavolo seemed like a perfect choice.  I expected all of us would enjoy it.

Uh huh.  SeemedExpected.  You're smart.  You know where this is going.

This recipe received something like 5,799 positive ratings on  Well, maybe not that many.  But almost.  I expected a good meal.  Sadly, I think our average rating would be a 2.  Maybe a 2.5 if I remember to take my nice pill.  Sometimes I forget. 

I'm not sure what went wrong exactly; I didn't dink around with the recipe.  I suspect that it's just us.  We're kinda goofy that way.

We sat there eating and sweating and fighting over the box of kleenex.  So spicy we could barely eat it!  I had to double check to make sure I read the recipe correctly.  Many FoodNetwork reviewers mentioned serving this over pasta.  That's probably the way to go to cut back on the heat.  I served it with french bread for dipping in the liquid fire.

We also felt that the shrimp had very little flavor.  Could be because our taste buds had been seared off?  But I think it has more to do with the fact that the shrimp spends very little time cooking in the sauce.  The tomatoes gave a bit of sweetness.  And it seemed that would tame the red pepper flakes.  But, truthfully, I found it plain weird!

My Boy was so disappointed.  He thought I was making his favorite, "Shrimp & Bread."  Why didn't this work for us when it did for 5,799 others?  It seems that we probably just expected something else.
So what did I learn today, kiddos?   The words seem and expect are dirty little buggars.

Linked to: I Heart Cooking Clubs

Printer friendly recipe

Shrimp Fra Diavolo
Giada De Laurentiis/ Food Network

1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined

1 teaspoon salt, plus additional as needed

1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons

1 medium onion, sliced

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 cup dry white wine

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

Toss the shrimp in a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of salt and red pepper flakes. Heat the 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and saute for about a minute, toss, and continue cooking until just cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a large plate; set aside. Add the onion to the same skillet, adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan, if necessary, and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, wine, garlic, and oregano. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Return the shrimp and any accumulated juices to the tomato mixture; toss to coat, and cook for about a minute so the flavors meld together. Stir in the parsley and basil. Season with more salt, to taste, and serve.


  1. Hmmm...maybe it's cuz you're all used to big bold flavors! Looks like the recipe has promise though.

  2. I know the feeling when you've read a gazillion rave reviews and you taste the dish and you think, "What's all the fuss about?" Been there, done that. It does look good.

  3. Bummer that it didn't live up to the reviews for you--I hate it when that happens. :-( It does look and sound like it would be a good comfort-food dish though.

  4. I wonder if it's because the shrimp are tossed with the red pepper flakes and then while cooking the red pepper flakes release more oils that intensify? Either way it's always a bummer when something doesn't work out.

  5. I was looking at this recipe for this week too - likely over pasta. I love hot peppers though, I probably would have added even more.
    And tripled that garlic. ;-)
    Ah well, we all like different things. Looks good though!
    (I do find I increase the salt in her recipes and many others. I swear some editors decrease it for health or something.)

  6. I am addicted to fra diavlo, but I wouldn't have thought of making this one! I seem to have a problem with every shrimp recipe of Giada's that I try. Glad I'm not the only one!


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