Tutus and flamingos are both pink. Tutus are for ballet, flamingos eat shrimp. This is how the two halves of this post will tie together.
So, I picked up dancing late in life. I did all the little girl classes that everyone does till I was 9 or 10 or 11 or something, and then I stopped. Cold turkey, no more little girl sparkly leotards for me.
Then, when I was fifteen, I started dancing again – mostly modern, a little bit of ballroom, and within a year, I was dancing hours each week, performing with a professional swing team, the Eastside Swing Cats and found myself minoring in dancing in college. I always leaned towards jazz and swing, but, like every good dancer, I took a little ballet on the side. It’s practically required. Ballet is like dance vitamins. You just can’t skip it. I got to the point where I was competent – I could spin, leap and pose properly and not look like a total idiot.
Then this happened, and I stopped dancing completely for two years. Last week, a med student who used to dance ballet professionally offered to teach a free ballet class to anyone interested. I pulled out my slippers, struggled into my tights and, yes, even put back on a leotard.
And you know what? I was embarrassingly terrible. All my jazz and swing habits put my weight in the wrong place for ballet and when I panic, guess where I shifted my weight? Bad Taryn. I couldn’t even execute a plie correctly.
I promise I used to be competent! Honest! Once a long time ago!
But you know what else? It was awesome. I was sore, my ankles hurt and I was sweating profusely at the end of the hour and a half. I had danced for the first time in two years and I knew I could get back into the rhythm of the movement if I dedicated myself to it. I’m hoping to keep dancing and eventually get back into my true loves of jazz and swing.
So I came home and made this. Shrimp are also pink, like ballet tutus.
I love seafood, I love capers, I love lemons and limes (have you not realized this yet?) This is a totally classic dish, but still perfect served with a loaf of crusty bread, a tossed salad, a fresh wine and an extra squeeze of lemon tableside.
I did make this with bay shrimp, because it was what I had on hand, and I left out the parsley, because I didn’t want the flavor interference between the capers and the lemons – I wanted those two tastes to tango together, and boy did they ever.
Sizzled Shrimp Provencal
Serves 6. Allow 20 minutes.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds bay shrimp
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons small capers with brine
juice of 2 fresh lemons (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1) In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil just til shimmering. Add the shrimp, garlic and capers and cook over medium heat til the shrimp are barely pink (bay shrimp cook quickly, so watch them carefully.)
2) As soon as the shrimp are barely pink, lower the heat to medium low and add in the lemon juice. Reduce the sauce down quickly, so as to not overcook the shrimp.
3) Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Mary of One Perfect Bite
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