I have a reputation. Almost six years ago I penned this http://www.chowhound.com/topics/288918 which lives in Chowhound's Hall of Infamy. I've also been responsible for a number of other dishes which, fortunately, enough people made that they discovered that several of them REALLY were as good as I advertised!
This is one.
I am obsessed with calories. Having spent much of my life fighting weight, they mean a lot to me. Simply, if I am going to eat something fattening it better be good. REAL good. It must be worth it. Over the years there are very few dishes that I have ever found that were legitimately good and didn't scream fat at the first bite. In fact other that sushi, carpaccio and a good raw bar it has been an exercise in frustration to find something genuinely delicious that didn't invite sleepness nights of guilt for wasting my calories.
This is worth the calories. In fact it would actually be worth two, three, four times the calories. If this was a truly, frighteningly FATTENING dish it would still be worth it! It is so good that it would be worth sleepless nights and worry of how to make up for the excess this inspired.
It's not fattening.
My God, it's so non-fattening that it could actually be called diet food. Not Weight Watcher's good, not Lean Cuisine good, but a signature dish from Mario Batali which, essentially, it is based on.
Simply, this is one of the best shrimp dishes I have ever tasted in my life. The entire recipe makes a total of approximately 1,800 calories. Divide this by four (that's a HALF POUND of shrimp each!) and you have a 450 calorie dish. Add some asparagus drizzled with olive oil and a touch of Reggiano and you're talking the best 600 calorie dish you'll ever have.
Inspired by Mario Batali with a few changes and a lot of hyperbole:
Jumbo Shrimp Marsala Housewife Style
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 med red onion, 1/4 " dice
1 1/2 ribs celery with leaves, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 28 ounce can diced San Marzano plum tomatoes, partially drained (will equal about
2 cups of drained diced tomatoes with a little bit of juice
)1 1/2 tblsp. pine nuts
1 1/2 tbslp. currants
3 tblsp. capers, rinsed and drained
1 1/4 cup good dry marsala
1 tsp. fennel seed
red pepper flakes to taste
2 bay leaves
2 pounds jumbo FRESH shrimp (if you can find them)-any size up to under 25 is OK
Mario's cooking method is superb:
1. In a 12 inch saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat until almost smoking. Add the onion and celery and cook until softened. Add the tomatoes, pine nuts, currants, capers, marsala, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes and bay leaf and bring to a boil.
2. Remove the pan from the heat and lay the shrimp in one layer in the tomato mixture. Cover, set over low heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper to taste, and allow to stand for 5 minutes, covered.
I serve this with fresh asparagus, steamed with a sprinkling of good olive oil and a light dust of Reggiano.
Because I am hopeless I drink red with this (I drink red with almost everything) and Amy Winehouse softly intoning "Rehab" in the background.
Again, one quarter of this is 450 calories. You will not need rehab. The asparagus really does compliment it well. This, with the Reggiano and drizzled olive oil is probably adding 100 to 150 calories.
I have never tasted anything in my life as good as this with so few calories.