Easy Garlic Butter & Vermouth Shrimp with Roasted Tomatoes

This Garlic Butter & Vermouth Shrimp is my back-pocket recipe. It’s easy enough for a weeknight meal, yet fancy-pants enough to serve to dinner guests–essentials for any back-pocket recipe. I have served this several times to people who don’t eat meat but do eat fish, so they aren’t just eating platefuls of sides. I also serve this to myself when I’m having solo dinner or fancy-ass lunch because Sean isn’t super enthused about shrimp but, I am…so, more for me!

Like I said, this dish is EASY. The shrimp comes together in minutes, and the tomatoes, while totally optional, bring a nice pop of juicy sweetness that sort of blends into the buttery sauce from the shrimp. Both parts require minimal ingredients but result in maximum flavor. I like to keep frozen, peeled shrimp in the freezer for quick meals like this–it’s a total time saver and has rescued meal time for me more than once. I use vermouth in this recipe because it’s affordable (win) and a type of fortified wine–which means it’s fortified with a spirit. What does that mean?! It means that once you open the bottle, it’s good for a long time at room temperature (think weeks, months), making it great to use just a little at a time, without worrying about using the whole bottle in a few days.

This shrimp is great served over pasta or with just straight up chunks of crusty bread for sopping up the sauce. Speaking of the sauce–it’s just lots of garlic, BUTTER, and a healthy splash of vermouth to bring it all together. The result is a rich, garlicky coating for the shrimp and a sauce that just begs to be soaked up by some carby goodness.



Print Recipe

Garlic Butter & Vermouth Shrimp with Roasted Tomatoes

Makes 1 serving.

I usually make this dish for one–as my husband doesn’t really like shrimp and this is the perfect dinner for nights I’m flying solo. It’s also easy to scale up, making this a quick-yet-impressive dinner party dish. The tomatoes make extra, but they’re great as leftovers with plain pasta and some parm or as an accompaniment to any meat or fish dish.

2 unsalted tablespoons butter, divided

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

pinch of chile flakes

6 medium-sized shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/4 cup dry vermouth

dash of salt

1/4 lb. cooked and drained pasta

1 tablespoon chopped, fresh parsely

for the tomatoes:

1 lb. tomatoes, any kind you like (on the vine is pretty)

olive oil


Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment and place the tomatoes on the sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and begin to caramelize. While the tomatoes roast, cook your pasta according to the package instructions and make the shrimp.

For the shrimp, heat a skillet over medium and add 1 tablespoon of the butter to melt, add the garlic and chile flake and cook, stirring until fragrant–about 1 minute. Add the shrimp and cook until pink on one side, flip the shrimp and add the vermouth. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook until the shrimp are pink on the other side. Remove the shrimp to a plate and set aside. Continue cooking the sauce until it reduces by about half. Stir in the remaining butter, add the shrimp and stir to coat. Remove from the heat and season with salt to taste. Place the cooked pasta in a bowl, top with the shrimp and some of the tomatoes. Pour the sauce over the shrimp, pasta, and tomatoes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. [/recipe]





Grilled Corn and White Bean Hummus

GUYS. Grilled. Corn. Hummus. It’s summer and in classic basic b. fashion, I’m eating all the grilled corn I can because that’s who I am and I am totally okay with that.

I have to be honest, I was late to the hummus game. Like, I only started liking it–for real–in the last few years. I’d eat it if it was there, using it as a dip for a pita chip or crudite but, I always sort of felt like it was a shrug-worthy food. Then I had a few versions at Lebanese restaurants–silky smooth and so addictive scooped up with warm pita–that my mind was instantly changed. Store bought versions still mostly underwhelmed me (though there is a local version, chunkier and thicker than most, that I really love) and it took me FOREVER to make my own. The thing is, I kind of didn’t intend to make my own. I actually made Casper a chickpea-carrot puree that was basically hummus and found myself eating it out of the blender. DUH! Lightbulb-moment, guys.

But, now I have hummus in my life and this version is currently my fave because of the subtle sweetness and faint smokiness from the grilled corn. I used white beans just because that’s what I was feeling, but it’s excellent with chickpeas, too. This hummus is great with some pita but, I also really love it with cool cucumber slices for some crisp freshness. PS, it makes a great at-home happy hour snack beside a chilled glass of something to sip (#rosealltheway).


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Grilled Corn and White Bean Hummus

Adapted from Real Simple

Even though my favorite store-bought version is a little on the chunky side, I like my homemade iteration to be super silky, smooth, and almost pourable in consistency. To get this particular texture, I think a high-powered blender and a bit of lukewarm water take this hummus to the next level. It can be made in a food processor with great results, as well. And, of course, blend it with or without the addition of water to you specific tastes.

2 ears of fresh corn

1-2 tablespoons canola or olive oil

1, 15-ounce, can white beans–drained and rinsed

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons tahini

salt to taste

lukewarm water–if needed

chives, olive oil, flaky sea salt, and paprika for garnish (optional)

Preheat your grill or a grill pan. Remove the husks and silk from the corn, rub each ear lightly with canola or olive oil. Grill the corn, on all sides, until you have a few charred spots all over–this should only take a few minutes per side. Remove and place on a plate to cool a bit. Cut the kernels off the ears of corn and set aside 1 heaping cup for the hummus. Reserve the rest as a garnish.

In a blender or food processor add the drained white beans, garlic clove, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, and the 1 cup of corn. Pulse until smooth and blended–taste and season with salt to your liking. Add water, a few tablespoons at a time, to thin to desired consistency–I like it to be just pourable. Place the hummus into a bowl and garnish with the reserved corn, snipped chives, some flaky sea salt, a sprinkle of paprika, and olive oil. Serve with pita or vegetables. [/recipe]

Easy Spicy Peanut Sauce

Today I went somewhere I dread going on par with the DMV…the Apple Store. Specifically the Genius Bar, since my computer has been having a major issue with staying on when I’m using it. Rude. I’ve managed to avoid this trip for moths, but it was inevitable and I finally decided to deal with it. It was just shutting off at all kinds of random times and it turns out (as Sean predicted) the video card is failing. So, it’s with the good people of Apple, getting repaired and I wont see it again for a week. I have feelings about it being away, but it’s probably good for us. The heart grows fonder and all that stuff. I realize I may be being a bit dramatic, but I hate this stuff.

I know this isn’t really a problem (evidenced by the fact that I’m still able to type this up thanks to an iPad) so, I’ll stop talking about it and talk about something far more interesting. Something super delicious on all sorts of things and so easy to stir up. I’ll talk about this peanut sauce. It’s great with summer rolls, like the ones pictured in my Easy Vietnamese Pickles recipe. It’s also great with carrot or celery or cucumber sticks and with simple grilled chicken. I also think it would be great stirred into pasta and garnished with scallion and chopped peanuts for a cold noodle salad. The best part about this sauce, besides it being so flavorful, is that it comes together with ingredients you may already have in the pantry and refrigerator: zippy lime, salty fish sauce, nutty peanut butter, spicy sriracha, and sweet maple. A little water takes this sauce from a thick paste to a silky sauce, so don’t be worried if it looks like a strange consistency at first. It’s so good! So seriosuly, make it, dip it, mop it, pour it down your gullet (what? why? sorry). Whatever you’re into.


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Easy Spicy Peanut Sauce

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

I have used both natural peanut butter and commercial peanut butter for this recipe with great results.

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

juice and zest of 1 lime

1 clove minced garlic

1 tablespoon sriracha

2 teaspoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/4 to 1/2 cup water

In a bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients, except the water. Whisk in enough water to thin to a consistency you like. I use closer to 1/2 cup of water. [/recipe]