There are a few recipes – a very few – that are simply too fabulous to fiddle with. One, of course, is Gordon Ramsay’s Beef Wellington. If you’ve ever made it, then you know exactly what I mean. Last night, I think we found another one. America’s Test Kitchen’s Modern Shrimp Fra Diavolo. I often use the Test Kitchen recipes as a jumping off point – their “why this recipe works” sections are absolutely amazing – and lend themselves to much experimentation. I can easily say that it is my second favorite cookbook, next to my Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, of course. It is well worth the $25 internet purchase price, and includes all of the recipes from all 14 seasons of the TV show.
The Modern Shrimp Fra Diavolo recipe tells you how to take a meal that can far too easily turn into a disaster of rubbery shrimp and overly spicy sauce and instead prepare an incredible seafood dish with complex flavors that makes just as spectacular an impression on the plate. It is remarkably easy to accomplish, especially if you read the recipe through completely and do your prep ahead of time. I have posted pictures below of the recipe as it appears on Google books. It seems that you can scroll through the entire cookbook there, though I confess, I simply scrolled several recipes in either direction as a test. Pretty cool stuff. I find it easier to use my cookbook, however, when I’m in the kitchen. (It’s just when I’m trying to be lazy and avoid typing that I find the other option more convenient.)
I hope that you’ll give this a try – it’s that good. No bragging at all – this is all kudos to America’s Test Kitchen for a seriously superb recipe. I would have been thrilled to receive this in a restaurant in Italy. As always, we just love being able to prepare this sort of thing at home.
It has been impossible to find fresh basil here in Fairbanks for several weeks, and our poor parsley plant is looking rather peaked, so we had to use the dried when we decided to make this on the spur of the moment. We also used some of our own Anaheim chillies that I’d canned, along with their brine, since we had no pepperoncini, but the result was still fabulous. As you can see from the photos, we served it over linguine.