CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Shrimp In Red Sauce

Cooking food in the oven isn’t always an option when summertime temperatures drift into the mid-80s to near 90 degrees. Grilling is one option when this is the case, but a quick skillet meal is also a good substitute.

The following recipe allowed me to take advantage of about a pound of large shrimp in the freezer along with some canned tomatoes and home-grown garlic and parsley.

And cooking in the confines of a nice air-conditioned kitchen appeals much more to me than standing over a hot grill when the heat index is nearing the century mark.

Shrimp in Red Sauce
1 pound peeled large shrimp deveined
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
½  small yellow onion finely, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
Place the shrimp in a medium bowl. Toss with 2 teaspoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Heat a large nonstick or ceramic skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook about 1 minute per side, flipping over the shrimp with tongs. Transfer the shrimp to a plate or bowl.
If there are a lot of browned bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet, either carefully (pan is hot!) wipe them out with a damp paper towel or wash the skillet.
Reduce the heat to medium. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in the skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and becomes translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, oregano, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add the crushed tomatoes. Cook at a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
Stir in the cooked shrimp and parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Serve with pasta or rice, quinoa or spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles.

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