You might recall that one of the things we planned to fix with our O.I.A. focus is to eat out less. It costs a lot more to eat out in American restaurants than French ones, and half the time the food isn't as good, anyway. So we have really been doing a lot of cooking since we've been back. In fact, as I am typing this, we have only been out to eat twice since we've been back, under normal circumstances (ie, hanging out in Greenville and not traveling to/from a wedding in Mississippi).
A few weeks ago we had gone to Trader Joe's and bought roughly $45 worth of groceries. Walking back to the car, I confessed to B that I felt bad. "I can't believe we bought that many groceries," I said. "It just seems so expensive." And it does, coming from French market produce prices. America, you are killing me with your cost of produce.
But B, being the logical and mathematically oriented member of this family, pointed out that the groceries we just purchased were for three meals. And each meal made at least 4 servings. That's a minimum of 12 meals we just purchased, along with stuff like carrots and fruit to snack on. I'm not even good enough at math to calculate the cost per meal without whipping out the iPhone calculator (I write the books - I don't do the numbers), but I can pretty safely say that each meal is much cheaper than a restaurant. Although to be honest, we did have many of the ingredients already in our pantry or fridge. Still - $45 for 12 individual meals plus snacks is darn good.
But even more good news? We don't have to suffer crappy quality food. Shrimp Fra Diavolo, made to my mother-in-law's recipe, is divine. It's an easy one-pot stovetop meal and odds are good a lot of the ingredients are lurking in your pantry, fridge or freezer, too. We love it because we can make it spicy, but you can turn down the heat if you desire. If you're looking for a quick weeknight dinner, look no further. We hope you enjoy!
E & B
Mama Steve's Shrimp Fra Diavolo
2 lbs. shrimp (we used maybe 1 pound)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more or less, depending on your heat tolerance. We usually do more)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juices (we used Trader Joe's fire-roasted ones)
1 cup dry white wine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (I used way more than that. The scent of basil reminds of me Italy like no other)
Toss shrimp in a bowl with the salt and red pepper flakes.
Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet. Add shrimp and cook for a minute, flip, and cook the other side until they're mostly done.
Transfer to another dish and set aside.
Add onion into same pan, and saute about 5 minutes, or until translucent.
Add tomatoes and juice, wine, garlic and oregano. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.
Return shrimp to tomato mixture, and cook for a few minutes so flavors can meld together.
Stir in basil.
Serve over pasta, or eat by itself.
Nutrition: This recipe makes 4 servings, each one at roughly 228 calories apiece according to my calculations. However, this does not include the pasta. Be sure to weigh your pasta before boiling it to make sure you're eating the amount you think you are. Food scales are crucial if you're counting calories!