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RBR Tailgating: Shrimp with Garlic and White Wine

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A situationally dangerous dish for a situationally dangerous foe.

I’ve never broken from my proscribed path this early in the season. The idea that I would offer grilled and outdoor cooking for home games as a boon to game attendees actually going about the business of tailgating and holding back more complicated fixins for away games when most of us are at home and have access to a full kitchen shouldn’t be one that’s too hard to adhere to.

The problem is that I cook these on Wednesdays, and it rained on Wednesday. I didn’t want to get wet.

I feel bad about cooking indoors this week so I’ve attempted a little stunt kitchening. The recipe that follows was made in the face of grave personal danger. Not for you. You’ll be fine. I’m the only brave one here, unless you too are allergic to shellfish.

My allergy popped up unannounced in late 2001. I was running around a restaurant I was working in in Savannah when the chef handed me a “tell me what you think” bite of crab cake. Within minutes I was a tunnel visioned, knuckle swelling, foul mouthed mess.

On the bright side, my reaction wasn’t life threatening. That may have made things worse, as rather than accept in one swoop that the scope of critters under the shellfish umbrella and I were parting ways, I was emboldened to rule them out one attempted meal at a histamine releasing time.

On the theory that since my affliction came out of nowhere it should theoretically be just as capable of buggering off to nowhere, I have an allergy test every year. The tests aren’t very accurate to judge by the number of false positives indicating an intolerance for foods I regularly eat without incident, but so far, my allergy to shellfish shows no sign of backing down.

It’s mussels that I miss the most. Every so often I joke about sitting in my doctor’s office with a bowl full of them - white wine broth, of course - and a bell. I’m kinda joking.

I faced this cooking peril to bring something exciting to the Arkansas State game in the driest way I could. That I was never really in any actual danger kinda sums up the matchup we’ll see at BDS in a nutshell (peanuts being the fourth most common food allergy).

Justice Hanson is one hell of a quarterback. He’s going to do his damndest to sling that ball over, under, and through our green secondary. It’s just the test they need.

Athletically, Thompson et al are up to the task of defending against any attack. Are they mentally ready to do so? We’ll find out soon enough.

Best case, we shut down the Red Wolves passing game and Saban has to bloody a room full of reporters for having the temerity to notice that his team has the ability to leverage its considerable talents against opponents on the field. That’ll be a lot of rat poison to flush out, but we’ve a pretty good track record of putting on blinders and maintaining focus.

Worse case, they throw it at will and run our dbs ragged. They still won’t win. Hepped up on Kool-Aid though I may be, this team doesn’t last a full four quarters going head to head with us. The talent disparity, not to mention the Chochran disparity, is too great and our coaching staff will walk out of the stadium with a clear idea of what needs to be done in the week’s practices leading up to our meeting with Ole Miss.

I hate to cast this game as a warm up, and I guarantee Saban would bite the head of anyone suggesting as much, to our meeting with the Rebel Black Bear Shark things… What the hell are they? Naming yourselves after an old SNL sketch? Who’s next? The Texas A&M Bassomatics?

Where was I? Right. I hate to cast this game as a warm up to a sanctioned foe. But like me stirring a pan of shrimp with a long wooden spoon, there are scenarios against the Red Wolves that make me uncomfortable m, but so much has to go wrong before I’d really consider any of them a danger.

Sauteed Shrimp with Garlic and White Wine

- 1 lb. medium shrimp, de-shelled and de-veined

- 1 ½ cup dry white wine

- 4 cloves garlic, minced

- 1 shallot, sliced

- 1 handful flat leaf parsley, loosely chopped

- 10 - 15 grape tomatoes, halved

- 2 tbsps. unsalted butter

- olive oil

Add the butter and a few glugs of olive oil to a wide, high-sided skillet over medium to medium high heat.

When the butter has melted, add the shallots and sauté for a few minutes until aromatic, add shrimp and garlic and sauté for two or three minutes more. Add the wine and turn the heat up to high.

When the wine begins to boil and evaporate, reduce heat to a simmer. Add the tomatoes and parsley and, if you want a kick, a few red pepper flakes, and let simmer for four or five minutes.

Check shrimp for doneness and salt to taste.

I served it with Parmesan polenta and a cucumber, feta, and red onion salad but I’d bet it would do well over linguini or spaghetti.

So that’s a pre-game lunch or post-game dinner done.

Hope you enjoy, no injuries, and Roll Tide.