Saturday, December 18, 2010

Garlic Oil Poached Shrimp with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

It's no secret that some of my favorite food is of the Italian variety, so when I was offered some products to sample from Nudo I happily accepted. Nudo has been in business since 2005 when the owners finished restoring an abandoned olive grove in Italy's Le Marche region. They produce small scale olive oil with traditional farming methods, and you can adopt an olive tree for a year which allows you to receive all the olive oil produced from it during that year. Nudo's extra virgin olive oils and flavored oils are combined with vinegar, pesto, pasta, and more in a range of gift baskets. My samples included both garlic and basil flavored oils, organic sun dried tomatoes, and organic basil pesto. The oils are packaged in tins which prevent light from affecting the oil, and the options they offer are extra virgin first cold press, organic extra virgin, lemon, mandarin, chili, garlic, and basil. My first idea for tasting the samples was to toast some crostini and top them with goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes, and a dollop of pesto. The mix of chewy, intense tomatoes and basil-scented pesto was great with creamy goat cheese, but I wanted to put the products to another test before mentioning them here. I decided to poach some shrimp in the garlic oil and make a pesto with the sun dried tomatoes. The two would have been fine on their own with the pesto used as a dipping sauce for the shrimp, but I tossed the pesto with some fresh pasta and topped it with the shrimp instead.

For the pesto, I emptied the jar of oil-packed sun dried tomatoes into the food processor and added some chopped garlic, a handful of pine nuts, and a some of the basil oil. That was whizzed into a state of pestoness and set aside. To oil poach shrimp, I used a small saucepan and enough garlic oil to mostly cover ten or twelve large shrimp. The oil was heated just to about 170 degrees F. The oil should just gently cook the shrimp rather than deep fry them. Keeping the oil around 170 will allow the shrimp to absorb the flavor while cooking over the course of about seven minutes. I had some fresh pasta in my freezer, so I cut it into wide ribbons, boiled it, and tossed it with the sun dried tomato pesto. The garlic oil poached shrimp sat on top.

The garlic oil is more subtle in flavor than you might think. It flavored the shrimp just enough while poaching. I also found the garlic oil when used in a vinaigrette for salad left it with just enough garlic flavor and not too much. The plump, sun dried tomatoes made a nice pesto too. These are flavors that are meant to be together, garlic, olive oil, sun dried tomatoes, and when the quality of each thing is as good as it was here, you can't go wrong.


30 comments:

  1. Gorgeous, plump and succulent shrimp...I could eat a whole bowl.

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  2. The combination sounds divine!! The prawns looks so juicy and succulent!!

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  3. Oooh, those shrimp look amazing. I love the idea of adopting a tree... how fun!

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  4. I have a weakness for juicy, fatty and tender shrimps. This looks divine!

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  5. This sounds absolutely delicious.. the photographs are fantastic too.. yum!

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  6. Two of my children are addicted to shrimp and garlic, so it always shows up somewhere on our holiday table! This recipe looks delicious, and is making my mouth water, even while I have another cup of morning coffee!

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  7. The shrimp dish looks gorgeous! I love the idea of adopting an olive tree- I'll have to look into Nudo. Also, did you find that fresh pasta freezes well? I've never made pasta but it's on my to do list. I'd love to be able to stash some in the freezer to use over time.

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  8. I have not heard of Nudo products before, but I love any pesto and a good olive oil.
    Shrimp is the perfect match.

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  9. Shelley: You can definitely freeze fresh pasta. I froze wide sheets in flat layers with parchment between the layers. I've also frozen stuffed ravioli and bundled nests of spaghetti. Let it thaw in the refrigerator or put the frozen pasta directly into boiling water.

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  10. Oooh, I'd love to get my hands on those delicious looking olive oils. I'm going to see if they are available in the UK.
    Those shrimp look soooooooooo good, I am not even a shrimp person, but they look absolutely delsih.
    *kisses* HH

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  11. I would have so enjoyed being in on this. Poaching seafood in olive oil has been on my bucket list of things to try for sometime now.

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  12. I love shrimp but never make them often enough. These look divine. Great flavors.

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  13. I'm so glad you posted this because I just adopted a tree from Nudo for my parents for Christmas! Such a cool concept.

    These shrimp sound delicious, especially with the garlic oil to spruce them up!

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  14. I've heard of Nudo products not too long ago, thought that the idea of adopting an olive tree is pretty cool

    Loved the recipe, the pictures are beautiful....

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  15. We love shrimps here. I like to poach them also. Gives them such a great taste.

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  16. I love this olive oil and the whole idea of "adopting'' a tree in Italy. I, too, received some to sample and it's fabulous.

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  17. What fun products - glad you like them!

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  18. who knew a state of pestoness was so easy to achieve? :)

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  19. What a cool idea to adopt an olive tree! I wish someone here would do it (and it would make a great Christmas present too!) :)

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  20. This shrimp sounds delightful. I have been in the mood for shrimp recently, and this makes me even more so!

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  21. Adopting an olive tree... what a great idea. Love the sound of this dish too Lisa. Awesome.

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  22. I recently cooked some shrimps infused with garlic and totally enjoy the flavors! This must be so delicious.

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  23. I've never heard of this brand. Everything looks delicious and I just love the packaging. Your shrimp looks fantastic!

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  24. Beautiful shrimp dish, looks amazing!

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  25. I've never tried oil poaching seafood. I think I would love that garlic oil!

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  26. There is absolutely nothing I don't like about this recipe! It's perfect and gorgeous...

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  27. Fantastic dish. Creative to poach the shrimp in garlic oil, my guess is that imparts some fabulous flavor. Sun dried tomato pesto sounds great as well.

    Have a happy holiday season

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