While I was on Facebook the other night chatting back and forth with Angie, a friend of hers named Michelle chimed in to ask if I had a quick shrimp recipe that she could make without having to go out to buy a bunch of ingredients. Angie and I both realized we too had some shrimp in our respective freezers, and I realized I did happen to know a really quick and easy shrimp dish.

I pulled my shrimp out the night before to thaw, which meant I had to cook them the following day, as they need to be used right away. Shrimp do not keep once defrosted. I looked through the pantry and found an onion, a can of pineapple, and I always have sweet and hot peppers in the freezer from my summer garden (although jarred red pepper would do just as well), and my mind was made up! This would work great over rice, but I am readying to leave on a trip in less than a week, so the baby spinach I happened to have on hand seemed like a perfect low-carb alternative. I just whipped this together for lunch, and it was delicious!
By the way, I should also mention that if you really are down to the bare bones in the pantry department, start collecting: I pick up odd items I find on sale all the time and stick them in the pantry, and as with the pineapple they come in so handy for times like these! Coconut I almost always have for baking.

Spicy Pineapple Shrimp on a bed of Baby Spinach:

1 bag fresh baby spinach, set aside
1/2 cup toasted coconut, set aside
1 lb. shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails off (keep in fridge until the very end)
1 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. butter

Add to the olive oil and butter, in a medium skillet:
3/4 cup chopped red, yellow or green peppers, or whatever you have in the pantry, jarred red peppers would be fine
3/4 cup chopped onion
Let them cook for a few minutes until they start to slightly brown, add:
1 can pineapple chunks, with juice (you may not need all the juice, but keep and add as necessary in case the mixture gets too thick)
2 tbs. ketchup
2 tbs. peach or apricot preserves, orange marmalade, or plum jam (no grape or berry of any kind!!)
2 tbs. brown sugar
1 tsp. chile paste or hot sauce, or in a pinch crushed red pepper or cayenne
Salt to taste
Let this mixture cook over medium heat until it starts to thicken. Turn down and reduce, about 10 minutes total. You’ll know by the consistency – it should stick to the back of a spoon.
Add shrimp and stir to coat, and cover and cook ’til the shrimp turns pink (about 3-5 minutes).
Remove, and pour over baby spinach, right away.
Serve with toasted coconut sprinkled on top

And as always, Enjoy!!!
© Jennifer Green Alger 2010