Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta

I’ve seen this on the menu at several restaurants, all slightly different – grilled shrimp, fried shrimp, broiled shrimp, for example – but, the one thing that seems to stay the same is the bang bang sauce.

I knew that the bang bang sauce had mayonnaise (I know that seems odd for pasta, but trust me, it’s good!), sweet chili sauce and sriarcha. I decided to add a little garlic, red pepper flakes and a little bit of lime juice to mine.

Another thing that I’ve seen varied is the type of pasta. I chose to add linguine. To me – spaghetti is too thin to really ‘hold’ the sauce and short pastas just don’t seem ‘right’ to me. So linguine it was!

Since I was cooking just for myself (probably for my lunch and my dinner), I decided to make this recipe a ‘for two’ (or 1 really hungry person!) recipe. So, all of my ingredients are sized accordingly. I could have made a larger dish, but I don’t love reheating shrimp.

I use frozen shrimp, so I took out enough shrimp for the dish and defrosted them in cold water.

While the shrimp were defrosting, I started my pasta. I added about 1/2 of a full box of linguine to well salted, boiling water.

While the pasta was cooking, I put together my bang bang sauce – I’m not going to lie – I could have eaten this by the spoon! It’s GOOD! As noted above, I used mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, sriracha, red pepper flakes, garlic and a bit of lime juice.

And, I just whisked it all together and set it aside.

After my shrimp were thawed, I sauteed them in a hot pan with 1/2 tbsp of butter.

Just before putting them in the pan, I seasoned them with a little bit of salt and pepper (I didn’t want to use any seasonings that would compete with the bang bang sauce).

It doesn’t take long to cook shrimp, so don’t walk away!

By the time my sauce was done and my shrimp were cooked, my pasta was done. I have a pasta pot, with the pasta insert, which makes it so easy when you’re ready to toss pasta into a pan with the sauce.

I just drained the pasta and poured it into the skillet with the shrimp. Then I added in the bang bang sauce (in hind sight, I probably would have added the bang bang sauce to the shrimp first).

With tongs, I just stirred everything through.

Because I like spice, I added a few more red pepper flakes and sriracha, before eating!

Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta (for 2)

1/2 box linguine
12-15 shrimp (can use frozen – defrost prior to cooking)
1/2 tbsp butter
salt and pepper

1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1/2 – 1 tsp sriracha (I used a little more than that)
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp lime juice
Red pepper flakes, to taste

  • Cook pasta, per directions on box
  • Salt and pepper your shrimp, and then saute in butter, in a large skillet (you’re going to add your pasta into the skillet, later)
  • To make sauce, mix all ingredients together in a bowl
  • Once your pasta and shrimp are done, add pasta and bang bang sauce to the skillet and mix through

Shrimp and Smoky Jalapeño Grits

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at shrimp and grits for a while, but just haven’t taken the time to come up with a recipe. But, I finally took the time today – for brunch. I tend to think that shrimp and grits are the perfect brunch food!

I tried to think about all the things that I loved about all (there have been a lot!) the shrimp and grits dishes I’ve had – and, I think that I came up with a winner of a recipe, combining the flavors that I like most!

Starting with shrimp, bacon (I actually also used some sausage too – as I had a small piece left in the refrigerator, but won’t normally include that) and all the ingredients needed for my jalapeno cheesy grits.

I forgot to include it in the picture of the ingredients, but I also used the juice of one lemon in the sauce.

The shrimp won’t take long to cook – so start with the grits. I used old fashioned grits for mine. I cooked the grits as normal 4:1 ratio of water to grits (with a bit of salt). When the grits were almost done, I added the butter, heavy cream and cheese. Whisking it in, to keep it all smooth!

For the shrimp and sauce, I started by cooking my bacon and sausage – then removed it from the pan (leaving the grease in the pan).

I let my bacon and sausage sit on a plate with a paper towel, so that it wouldn’t get ‘soggy’.

Then I was ready to cook the shrimp. I decide to do a light ‘breading’ on my shrimp, so I tossed it in a plastic bag with flour, Old Bay seasoning and paprika.

Once the shrimp was coated, I put it in the hot pan with oil. Cooking on each side for 2-3 minutes. You’ll want to be sure not to over cook your shrimp, so have everything ready to go before putting the shrimp in the pan. Nothing is worse than chewy shrimp, in my opinion.

After the shrimp was done, I returned the bacon and sausage to the pan and mixed it up (it’s fine of some of the breading falls off of the shrimp – the breading is really just for flavor and any that falls off will just add to the flavor of the sauce).

Then I started to build the sauce – to the shrimp and bacon mixture, I added in the broth, lemon juice, parsley and the reserved flour mixture – stirring to coat the shrimp with the sauce. I added 1/2 of the green onions on top of the shrimp and sauce and we were ready to eat!

To serve, add the shrimp over the grits and garnish with green onions. The perfect brunch food!

Shrimp and Grits

Total time for recipe – approximately 45 minutes

1 cup of grits
4 cups of water
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
approx 1/3 cup (1/2 a container) Smoky Jalapeno Alouette cheese

Shrimp and Sauce
4 pieces of thick sliced bacon, cut up into bite size pieces
3/4 – 1 lb shrimp
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp paprika
2/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp dried parsley flakes
3 green onions, chopped
juice of one lemon

Prepare grits, as follows:

  • Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, add salt and whisk in grits.
  • Reduce to simmer, for 15 minutes
  • Add in butter, heavy cream and cheese (stir with whisk), reduce heat and cover

Shrimp and Sauce:

  • Cook bacon in skillet, once done, remove (leaving oil).
  • Prepare shrimp by tossing in a bag with the flour, Old Bay seasoning and paprika.
  • Remove shrimp and add to pan (do not discard remaining flour mixture)
  • Cook on each side 2-3 minutes (shrimp doesn’t take long to cook).
  • Return bacon to pan
  • Add in chicken broth, lemon juice, parsley and remaining flour mixture – stir to coat shrimp with the sauce
  • Add 1/2 of the green onions and stir

Serve over grits and top with remaining green onions for garnish

Shrimp Fried Rice

While I would much prefer to have fresh shrimp, living inland doesn’t really allow for that very much.

Luckily, you can buy deveined and already peeled shrimp in the freezer section of your grocery store. Not as good as fresh (but cheaper than the ‘just thawed out, because you don’t live at the beach’ shrimp they sell for twice as much at the meat counter, making people think they are getting ‘fresh’ shrimp – you’re really just getting previously frozen, conveniently defrosted, shrimp if you live inland. That said, I will buy the frozen version and thaw it myself – saving at least 50% of the cost of the shrimp!

I try to keep some shrimp in the freezer for nights just like tonight – when I don’t have any other protein already thawed for dinner. Shrimp is easy to defrost at home. I put mine in a colander and just run cool water over it until it is thawed – and it’s ready to go! Enter tonight’s meal of shrimp fried rice!

You can cook your fried rice in a wok or large skillet. It just has to be a pan that can withstand high heat – as one of the keys to a good stir fry is the high temp. Additionally, using cold rice is a way to keep your stir fry from being too mushy. Then, it is just a matter of adding in the vegetables that you like! I cooked the ‘components’ separately for the most part – and then tossed them back together to finish it off.

Shrimp Fried Rice

3 tablespoons of oil (I used sesame oil)
1 lb of shrimp (I used deveined, peeled shrimp from the freezer section)
4 cups cooked, chilled white rice
1 1/2 cups of frozen peas and carrots
1/2 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups of snow peas
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 eggs
3-4 tbsp (or to taste) low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp Siracha sauce
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt/pepper to taste
sesame seeds and chopped green onions for garnish

  • Get wok hot and add 1 tbsp of the oil to pan
  • Add shrimp and garlic to the pan
  • Cook shrimp until pink (add chili powder and a little bit of salt and pepper during cooking)
  • Remove shrimp from wok
  • Add 1 tbsp of oil to pan
  • Add vegetables to wok and stir for 3-4 minutes, remove from wok
  • Add remaining oil and crack all 3 eggs into oil – quickly scramble eggs in the wok
  • Add rice to wok – try to keep rice touching as much of the wok as possible (to allow for crispiness of the rice) – letting it sit for 3-4 min before stirring.
  • Quickly stir rice around, picking up the crispy bits from the pan
  • Add the vegetables back into the pan
  • Add soy sauce and Siracha and stir, until well mixed (don’t overwork, as you don’t want the rice to become mushy).
  • Serve with sesame seeds and green onions