The first week of the New Year did not start out the way I wanted to. I had all kinds of ambitions for the month of January; I had planned a series of food and wine features highlighting each local wine with a perfectly complimentary bite. Instead I got sick with some sort of a crazy flu virus, which does not know when to quit. As a result, I have no energy or desire to be in the kitchen, or anywhere else for that matter. What is worse, I have lost (I hope temporarily), my sense of taste. All food tastes strange and don’t even get me started on wine, all reds taste Ike battery acid now. This is what hell must be like.
So in my attempt to cheat the flu gods and pretend I am feeling better; I dragged myself onto the kitchen and decided to at least make my family happy for a Sunday dinner. The fridge and pantry yielded fresh salmon, frozen shrimp and clam juice. So when in doubt though it all with pasta for maximum flavor with least effort. The results came out surprisingly good, and thankfully simple. I was out of the kitchen and back on the sick couch in a flash.
As for the food and wine features, I promise, they are on their way. I have a few very special treats planned. I can’t wait to get my taste mojo back.
Simple Salmon and Shrimp pasta.
Serves 4 generously (with leftovers for lunch the next day)
2 packages of fresh pasta (I used Angel Hair)
4 oz of Salmon filet
1 lb of shrimp ( any size, I had 25-30) peeled and deveined
2 shallots finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 small zucchini julienned
2 oz of butter
1 ½ cup of clam juice
1 ½ cup of dry white wine
Zest and juice of ½ lemon
Handful of fresh basil
½ pint of cherry tomatoes
1 tsp of red paper flakes
1 tsp of white pepper
Salt to taste
Salt and Pepper the salmon filet on both sides. Heat up 1 tbs of olive oil in a non stick skillet. Fry the salmon filet 2 min per side until crispy on the outside and rare on the inside. Set aside.
In the meant time put on the pasta water.
In the large, deep skillet heat up 1 tbs of olive oil. Add the shallot and sauté on low heat for a few minutes, then add the garlic and let both sweat for another 2 minutes. Add the butter and let it melt and get bubbly, about 2 minutes. Stir in the clam juice and the wine and let the whole thing reduce on medium/ low heat. Add the pepper flakes, salt and white pepper and the lemon zest. Add the shrimp. Cook for about 5 minutes until the shrimp is pink and cooked through. Add the tomatoes, zucchini and shredded salmon when shrimp is almost done cooking.
In the mean time drop your pasta.
The pasta should be cooked al dente as it will finish cooking in the sauce, so if using fresh thin pasta, just dunk it into the boiling water for no more than 30 seconds before tossing with the sauce.
Top everything with a squeeze of lemon juice and fresh basil.