Working at NAS has been great. I'm learning a lot about the publishing process, and I love jumping back into the world of scholars and scholarly writing. I've discovered that most scholars are the same, whether they're Syriac scholars or engineers working for FHWA: they're all brilliant, dedicated, but they're less interested with trivial details like bibliographies and copyright documentation. Good thing that's where I come in! I'm kind of a professional nagger, but in a nice way. My coworkers are all so nice and so willing to help me learn the ropes. It's all been great!
I decided to venture out last week to the National Gallery of Art; it was just a 10-minute walk, leaving me 40 minutes to wander around the gorgeous hallways. On the way over, I felt like a star-struck tourist, openly gaping at the amazing buildings, spotting the Capitol Building one direction, the Washington Monument in another. I don't think this city could ever get old to me! Gah.
My favorite part of the museum was looking at the Rembrandt section. He's an artist that I've studied a lot in college classes, and as I walked around, I could hear my Australian teacher Dr. Howard saying, "Look at Rembrandt's attention to light, the way he plays with the shadows and highlights the most important parts." I was in love. I hope to make another trip there this week!
Working full time has been an adjustment, making my day a lot more structurally like my days at BYU. Learning how to plan meals around a full-time work schedule has been a learning process; I was a bit ambitious at first, trying to make more involved meals several nights a week. I quickly learned that takes up a lot of time, and by the time I had semi-cleaned up, I was exhausted and not at all ready to work on my Independent Study homework.
So I've had to realign my expectations, limiting myself to more involved meals on the weekend and picking out simpler meals, and especially those recipes that use a crockpot or slow-rising doughs. This week, I'm excited to try these shredded beef tacos and lazy pizza dough (using an 18-hour rise time, I can make it the night before and it'll be ready the next day by 6).
Today, I'm sharing my family's favorite shrimp pasta recipe. This has been our go-to meal for visitors when I was growing up, and it's a show stopper. We served it to Aaron's boss a few weeks ago, and I'm considering making it again this week when Aaron's higher boss is in town. The best part is how simple the recipe is, absolutely fitting into my timing for work. The whole meal is ready in about 25 minutes from starting to boil the pasta to sliding the bowl on the table. It doesn't get much better than that! You can handle that on a weekday, right?
Dill Spaghetti and Shrimp Platter
Yield: 4–6 servings
1 lb. uncooked spaghetti
6 Tbsp. butter
6 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. shrimp, shelled and deveined (see link below on how to devein shrimp*)
2 cloves garlic, minced (1 tsp. if you're using packaged garlic)
2/3 c. parmesan cheese
1/4 c. chopped dill (fresh is ideal, but I use dried out of convenience)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper
- Cook spaghetti according to package instructions; drain. While your spaghetti is cooking, it would be a good time to make your topping for the spaghetti. Combine the dill, salt, and pepper together. Heads up: You'll probably only use just over half, but I always keep the leftover in my fridge for next time.
- Let's talk shrimp. I normally use small shrimp, but this last time, the jumbo shrimp happened to be on sale. Both work just fine; the smaller ones are sometimes preferable because there are more them in each serving. Take your pick! When you're buying shrimp, the cheapest variety will have its shell and veins intact. Don't be afraid because shelling and deveining is a pretty easy process. Deveining is not strictly necessary, but it makes the shrimp look prettier and if you don't devein the shrimp, it can make the shrimp a little gritty. Do yourself a favor and take the time to devein the shrimp. Here's a video showing you the basics of deveining.
- Once your shrimp is ready, it's time to cook them. In a large skillet, heat butter and olive oil until the butter is melted. Next, add your prepared shrimp and garlic, cooking the shrimp on both sides until they are opaque. This process happens pretty quickly, about 1 minute per side. The shrimp will start out grey and will be a healthy pink when they're done. If you overcook them, there won't be enough butter and oil to use for the sauce for the pasta.
- Combine the hot cooked spaghetti and shrimp together, mixing to coat the spaghetti evenly with the buttery sauce. This next step works best with two people with one person using salad tongs to toss the spaghetti, and the other person sprinkling the dill mixture and parmesan cheese. There are no exact measurements for this step, but the best way to describe it is to sprinkle the dill mixture and parmesan cheese until the pasta is coated evenly, as seen above in the picture. Just keep sprinkling the dill and parmesan, tasting as you go, until you like the taste. The measurements tend to be different for each person depending on how much dill you like! Serve immediately.
Source: Readers Digest (a while ago)