These are shrimp. They died for no good reason and I sincerely feel bad about that. This is a pound or so of shrimpers and I used them to make dinner tonight. I'm going to share the recipe and I'm going to post photos but let me tell you, this was one of those dishes where you want to say something out loud that you shouldn't say out loud. Especially at the dinner table. something like "Oh fuck."
Sorry, friends, but there it is and that's what I said after slaving in the kitchen for two hours!! Yup, two hours from the time these buggers were taken out of the fridge until they entered my face. One bite and the F word came out of me.
This sounded sooooo good when I found it in a cookbook yesterday. And it had such an impressive title:
SHRIMP AND CHEESE ROTOLO WITH MANY CLOVES GARLIC SAUCE.
You gotta admit, that sounds wonderfully impressive, doesn't it? Reading through the recipe, it honestly does call for 'many cloves' of garlic...25 cloves to be exact. But more about the sauce later.
Sooo, there I was at about 4pm, cleaning a whole bunch of shrimp, steaming them, shelling them, de-veining them, and cutting off the tails. Now all those little pink bodies needed to be minced, so mince I did. (okay, okay, I cheated and used my food processor, tossing 3 cloves of garlic into the mix.)
After that, the pink stuff that resulted from the mincing business was mixed with ricotta cheese, a half tablespoon of marjoram and thyme leaves added as well as a quarter tsp of pepper.
As soon as that was all mixed together, I put 12 lasagna noodles into a pot of boiling water and proceeded to peel over 2 dozen cloves of garlic. This took time. Yes it sure did, even using my big chopping knife to mash down on each clove, splitting the skin and making it easier to slip out the pungent insides. These were placed in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and heated, covered, for ten minutes, until they were soft enough to mash slightly with a fork.
While the garlic was cooking, I drained the pasta, spread the shrimp and ricotta mixture on each noodle, and roll it up, placing each seam down, in a roasting pan.
I added one and a half cups of chicken broth and some snipped fresh parsley to the garlic and then tempered 2 tablespoons of flour with a bit of broth in a little bowl, and added it to the pot, stirring it over low heat until it thickened.
I poured it on to the rolled lasagna noodles. covered it all loosely, and baked it for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
Let me tell you, all that garlic, simmered in chicken broth, all that shrimp...the smell w as heavenly. Oh, be still my heart, but that set me to almost weeping with anticipation. It made the mess that was my kitchen just an unimportant sidenote, even tho there was not a spot in my rather large kitchen that was not covered with some dirty dish or another.
We waited. And Waited. A half hour. It looked lovely when it came out of the oven. It looked lovely sliced on the dinner plate. The entire house smelled with such a wonderful mix of aromas.
We sat down at the table, took a bite. And it popped out of my mouth.
it had little flavor and what flavor WAS there, was plain awful.
John set down his fork and pushed his chair away from the table.