It’s the weekend, I just got paid, and the hubby and I just crossed a major item off our 2019 adulting to-do list: We bought out the lease on his car so that our 5-year plan involves no more car payments. So naturally, we felt like we deserved a nice celebration dinner! We found ribeye steaks on sale for $7.49/lb and bought a half pound of shrimp for $5 and it was on!
I’ve talked a lot about steak before, so you already know that I work some wicked magic with a steak in my cast iron frying pan. That hasn’t changed.
So let’s talk about shrimp! I love pan-seared shrimp, and my best advice for cooking it is KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid. All I do is peel the shrimp (I buy EZ-peel because I hate deveining them by hand), toss them in a bowl with a splash of olive oil, salt, pepper, and seasoned salt. Then I heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, throw them in when it’s heated enough for them to sizzle, and sauté them for a few minutes until cooked through. You really have to keep an eye on shrimp though; don’t leave the room or check Facebook while they’re cooking, because they’ll turn into rubber if overcooked. I can’t think of very many things one could do that are worse than overcooking shrimp, besides, oh you know, declaring a fake state of emergency in order to waste $8 billion dollars on a senseless and racist border wall. Yeah, that’s worse. But for real, for those of us who don’t have such powers, we can still be responsible people and not overcook our shrimp.
Anyway, the other noteworthy thing going on today is that I took the time to make mashed potatoes instead of baked potatoes. It takes longer, but it’s worth it because my mashed potatoes are legendary. The first thing you need to know about mashed potatoes is that those boxes of mashed potato flakes are BULLSHIT. I do not condone that blasphemy. I don’t care if they were once potatoes, now they’re just flakes. I always start with real potatoes; wash them, quarter them, boil them, drain them, and mash them. Then I add in some butter, lactose-free milk, salt, pepper, and seasoned salt (seasoned salt: I put that shit on everything!😂 Because it makes everything taste good!). That’s not hard at all and it tastes way better than those so-called mashed potatoes made from flakes. For one thing, I leave the skin on the potatoes, and it adds both flavor and texture. I always use either red potatoes or Yukon gold, never russet, so the skin is good. Notice that I don’t provide measurements for these ingredients. It’s not because I’m lazy in my blogging; it’s because cooking doesn’t require exact measurements like baking does. Baking is more of a chemistry. With cooking, you can throw in a small amount and adjust it based on taste as you go, and that’s exactly what I do.
This was one fantastic dinner, especially for a whopping price tag of $20 worth of ingredients. For two people. When’s the last time you had a surf-n-turf dinner with ribeye at a restaurant for $10? I’m guessing never. That’s why cooking at home is the best, and my favorite part of adulting.
If you’re not as comfortable cooking nice celebration dinners at home and tend to go out instead, I’d like to help you ease some of your fears and save money in the process! If you avoid cooking at home on special occasions because it seems overwhelming, feel free to ask questions in the comments, send me a message via the “contact me” option found in the main menu of my page, or Tweet me @atmartinwriter! I’d be happy to offer any helpful advice I can. I’m not a classically trained chef, just a simple self-taught home cook from the boonies who’s successfully developed several techniques/recipes to maximize flavor and minimize cost over the last 15 years, but I know how to make affordable food taste awesome, and everyone deserves that.