Dinner for one

There are all forms of entertaining.  Of course there are the big parties, dinners and events.  There are also smaller and more intimate settings when you have another couple over or it’s a special dinner just for the two of you. You plan, you do the shopping, the preparation and then hope everyone oohs and ahhs.  It’s validation for the work and time you put into it and you go to sleep thinking everything was worth all the effort.  But have you ever thought of putting that same effort into a dinner for one?

What do people do when they eat alone?  I know when I was single and just starting out, dinner usually consisted of a bowl of cereal or a bag of popcorn.  I never thought of making an effort for myself.  I’m going to assume that a lot of single people have the same way of looking at things as I do.  We just do whatever is the easiest.

Tonight however, I changed my mind about things.  My husband was going to play cards with the guys and I was going to be alone for the evening.  In the past I would have eaten something I could just grab.   Not that there is anything wrong with a bowl of cereal or grabbing what ever is in the refrigerator at the moment, but I decided with the lifestyle changes we are making in our home I should make the effort and do the same for myself as I would anyone else that would be eating dinner in my home.  I was going to make myself a real dinner.

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I was inspired by a recipe in Bon Appétit that sounded so good, but my husband wasn’t as excited about this meal as I was.  It calls for adding lobster to pasta.  What was I thinking?  Doing something with it other than boil it and dip it in butter?  It was the perfect opportunity to try this…and I’m so glad I did!   Not only was this very tasty, it was also relatively easy.  The lobster was still tender and sweet with a nice spicy complement from the pasta and sauce.

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You could of course do this meal for your guests and still get the oohs and ahhs.  They won’t know how easy it was or that most of it could be done in advance.  Or you could wait until that one night when you’re sitting all alone and don’t want a bag of popcorn for dinner.  Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy your own company.  It’s worth the oohs and ahhs you’re going to give yourself.

 

SPICY SHRIMP

If you asked my husband about cooking with shrimp he would say there would only be two ways to do it….with cocktail sauce or as shrimp scampi.  There are no other options.

Well, until now that is.

I was in the mood to make something spicy for dinner.  And that included something with shrimp.  You know how it is, you just get that urge and you have to look until you find something that fits what you’re looking for.  Although I’ve never had it, my brain was telling me Thai Shrimp. Don’t ask me why because I couldn’t tell you anything about it except that I knew it was known for being spicy.  I looked through several recipes and none of them really made me scream “make this!”,  so I took a couple of ideas, merged them together and created my version.  It was everything I had hoped for… and more.  You should ask my husband, Mr.Onlycocktailsauceorscampi what he thought.  He is now known as Mr. SogoodI’mhavingseconds.  He loved it.  I loved it and I think you will too.

Step outside of the box and try something new.  It was easy and tasty and a nice change from our typical weekday dinner.  Bon Appetite!

Spicy Shrimp

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1/3 cup chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 small zucchini, halved and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 2 bulbs baby bok choy sliced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 hot peppers (I used one with seeds and one without),
  • 1/2 cup cream of coconut
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 scallions, sliced

Instructions

  1. Combine minced garlic, lime zest, lemon juice and zest, grated ginger, sweet chili sauce, chili sauce and brown sugar. Stir until mixed together.

  2. Add peeled and deveined shrimp to mixture, making sure shrimp is well coated with sauce and set aside for at least 10 minutes.

  3. Add 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil to pan and heat over medium high heat until very hot. Add zucchini until it turns slightly brown, stirring frequently. Add baby bok choy, season dish with salt and pepper and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

  4. In the same pan add onions and cook until translucent, stirring frequently. Add hot peppers and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Add shrimp and marinade and cook until shrimp are cooked through, approximately 3 minutes more. Add cream of coconut and stir until well combined with shrimp mixture. Reduce heat to medium low and add tomatoes and cashews, cooking 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through. Stir in chopped basil.

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