Landshark.

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You get what you pay for.  This is true at the fish counter, beef counter and plastic surgeon’s office.  All places where a two for one deal won’t save you anything in the long run.   It’s scary to find out that we can’t trust the labels on our food.  What we think is grouper might actually be landshark.  Or that our meatball was the last place finisher at the Kentucky Derby.   If you haven’t read about DNA testing for fish in the supermarket, read this article.

We eat a lot of seafood but I am very careful about what I buy.   I try to stick with fish labeled  “wild” and “produced in the USA”.  I try to stay away from anything that has been processed and frozen in a half a dozen plants in three different countries.  Staples in our house are wild Sockeye salmon and the frozen scallops from Costco.  I also check Fresh Market for local seafood specials each week but price is a driver for me.  There is a fine line to walk between not overpaying for seafood and getting what you pay for.

Our Fresh Market often has  South Carolina shrimp for $12.99 a pound.  That’s not a steal but if you serve it with a pound of pasta and a salad, it works out to about $25 to feed a family of four.   I love this recipe for shrimp and pericatelli with a lemon cream sauce.   Pericatelli is thick hollow tube of pasta normally used in casseroles.   It’s a great way to stretch one and a half pounds of shrimp.  This recipe comes together really quickly but feels very luxurious.    Be sure to pass crushed red pepper at the table.              -Andra

Pericatelli with Shrimp and Lemon Cream Sauce  

3 tablespoons butter

4 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1 cup dry white wine

Juice of 2 lemons

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 cup heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

1 pound pericatelli

1 cup grated Parmesan or Grana Padana

1 1/2 pounds of medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

extra-virgin olive oil, best quality, for serving

Place a large pot of salted water over high heat to boil.

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta.  While the pasta cooks, assemble the sauce.

Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add the lemon zest and stir until it is fragrant but don’t let it brown.  Turn up the heat and add the wine.  Let the wine reduce for a few minutes and then add the lemon juice and garlic and simmer for 3-4 minutes.  Add the cream and simmer for 3-4 minutes more before adding shrimp and cooking until the shrimp are cooked through, about 5-6 minutes.

When the pasta has finished, add it to the sauce and stir to coat the pasta.   Serve and top each portion with chopped fresh basil, grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

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