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Monday, August 10, 2009

Salmon, Shrimp & Artichoke Heart Pasta with Lemon Butter Sauce

A fairly simple, yet flavorful pasta dish. This one takes a few pans, or it takes one pan and a few turns (plus two pots). I'm still not the greatest fan of pasta, but sometimes I crave it. When I do, I don't want just spaghetti...I need to make something unique. I find that pasta lends to extreme creativity and flexibility. You can do hot or cold pastas, all different shapes and sizes, baked, boiled and/or steamed...there are just so many alternatives, it's a hard base ingredient to ignore.

Anyway, I wanted salmon and shrimp, and needed a vegetable. I had some canned artichoke hearts on hand. Here's what you do:

Chunk your salmon and season it liberally with your favorite spices. For mine, I wanted an Italian-styled blackened spice mixture - salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, basil and oregano. Work it in with olive oil and set aside. Next, spice up your shrimp the same way or a different way - don't rely on me to hold your hand. Experiment...try something different.

Heat up a skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil until smoking and fry the artichoke hearts for 3-4 minutes until browned on sides (release the liquid BEFORE you cook them). Set aside. Add a little olive oil and fry the shrimp. Opaque doesn't mean sold white...if you're not sure, take a risk and eat it before you think it's done (though if you get sick, it's your fault for not being prudent - I am a lawyer, afterall). Set those aside. Wipe your pan out and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fry your salmon chunks - a couple minutes per side - don't burn and don't overcook. It's okay for the salmon to have a slight translucent appearance internally. Set aside.


Boil 1/2 Cup white wine, 5-7 slivers of lemon peel, and juice from one lemon in a small pot. Reduce by about 1/2, then add 1 Cup chicken stock and some fresh basil. Boil, then reduce to about half the amount. When you're pasta is ready (NOT before), you'll add a couple of pats of butter with the heat off, stirring to mix.


Cook pasta according to instructions. I used angel hair pasta. Meanwhile heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fry about 5 cloves of garlic, chopped. Add cooked and drained pasta and mix well. Add salmon, shrimp and artichoke hearts, being careful not too make a shoddy mess of the whole thing.

Serve into a pasta dish and top with fresh minced basil and crushed red peppers. Spoon over some lemon butter sauce.


~ Brock

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