Discovering new ways to create delicious food is a food lover's paradise. Years ago, I would spend hours making a meal and by the time I finished, I was no longer hungry. Today, I’m all about eating whole foods that are filling and take less than an hour to prepare, cook, and eat.
I wanted a garden this year. After several years of being without, it was time to reignite that fire and plant some seeds. There were some clunkers that didn’t ripen or flourish, but the spaghetti squash was crazy wild. The biggest vegetable in the garden became the survival of the fittest champion.
‘The champ’ needed a make-over. My friend Mindy owns a business in Paducah, KY. She has a brick-and-mortar location, a catering business, and meal-prep to go. A few days ago, she shared a Facebook post of spaghetti squash loaded with a lovely Italian-style filling. I’ve replaced flour noodles with spaghetti squash before to make Italian spaghetti but never filled the skin of the squash. How clever. I decided, it was time to try something new.
As a rule, I enjoy cooking with the food already in the kitchen. I'm not sure if I'm being lazy or practical, regardless, this time of year I always have fresh vegetables around the house and my plan was to incorporate those into tonight’s dinner.
The only protein I had available was frozen, so I decided to run a quick errand to the fish market just down the street. Typically, I'll pick up salmon, grouper, or mahi mahi. Today, I thought shrimp.
Thanks to my husband’s friend, Michael Williams, I had some green chilies that quickly became the star of the dish. I hope you enjoy the recipe!
Chile ‘licious’ shrimp squash scampi
1 ½ pounds of large shrimp (remove the shell)
Teaspoon of paprika
Salt and pepper
Two tablespoons of unsalted butter
Teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Whole shallot (chopped)
Three carrots (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
Two cups of kale (torn into medium size pieces)
Three chilies (seeds and membrane removed, chopped)
Large spaghetti squash
Salt and pepper
Tablespoon of unsalted butter
Roasting spaghetti squash:
Pierce the skin of the squash in a straight line with a sharp knife. Place in the microwave for five minutes. After removing from the microwave, cut the squash down the pierced line, clean out the seeds and guts of the squash. Place both squash halves in a baking dish skin side up with an inch of water and roast at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Let it rest. Take a fork and scrape out the spaghetti noodle-shaped squash. Go ahead and season with a pat of butter, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Chile shrimp scampi
In a large saute pan, prepare the shrimp with salt, pepper, squeeze of lemon and paprika, saute' in EVOO. Remove from the pan after the shrimp has turned pink (approximately three minutes).
In the same large pan, add a pat of butter, then add the onion, carrots, and garlic cloves. Saute for three to five minutes.
Next add the kale and saute until soft (not too soft) and add a squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper. Add the Chile
Add the shrimp back into the pan along with the spaghetti squash. Heat until warm.
Spoon the shrimp scampi into one of the spaghetti squash shells, top with Parmesan cheese.
Add tomatoes (optional) and serve.