Yet another standby recipe

I've been getting home so late that I can't really do much elaborate cooking. So I always fall back on dishes that I have in my head and take no effort to make. This is also one of my standby recipes because it is quick, easy, and tasty! Tomatoes go so well with basil. And sauteing garlic and black pepper in butter creates the most wonderful aroma in the kitchen. This dish works best with shrimp because chicken tends to take longer to cook and is easily overcooked. Also the heavy flavoring (garlic, butter, basil) goes well with seafood, while chicken can be a little too weak to carry all these fragrances, especially bland chicken breasts. I only had chicken breasts at home so that's what I used. This dish goes well with plain rice and sweet buttery peas with onions.

Recipe: Shrimp/chicken with garlic, basil, and tomatoes

1/2 lb of shrimp or chicken meat
2 stalks of fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 pint cherry/grape tomatoes
black pepper

1. If using shrimp, devein and shell them. Salt the shrimp and let it sit for a minute before washing it again. Throroughly dry them with paper towels. If using chicken, cut chicken into slices or bite size.
2. Cut tomatoes into quarters or halves. Tear up basil leaves with hands or slice them thinly. Mix tomatoes and basil in a big bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste and 1 Tbsp olive oil and toss well.
3. Heat butter, remaining olive oil, 1 tsp black pepper and minced garlic over medium-high heat. As soon as the garlic starts to sizzle, add shrimp/chicken. Season with salt and cook until they are done.
4. Immediately add all contents in the pot into the tomato/basil mixture and toss well. The heat will help wilt the vegetables a little. Serve immediately.

Note: Thoroughly salting and drying shrimp ensures they comes out cripsy instead of leathery or mushy. This is the case for almost all shrimp stir fries.


JQ said…
a standby recipe is already so complicated...but it looks good
Albertitto said…
I guess I should clarify. I called it "standby" because I used to somehow always have tomatoes and frozen shrimp at home, and my roommate and I used to have a herb pot that had basil. So it's really the dish to make when there's no more food left at home. I really don't think it is complicated though. Anything that tastes decent requires a bit of work.
charles said…
butter + garlic = heaven
actually, butter + anything = heaven

i should really use butter more often in cooking. can't even remember when was the last time i bought butter in supermarket. i've been using olive oil for everything from salad dressing to stir fry -- how boring.

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