Thursday, July 10, 2008

Shrimp and Scallop Mediterranean Pasta

Compared to what we have from where I come from (the Philippines), everything in America is super-sized, or is geared to being one. And I mean, everything! That includes houses, cars, buildings, clothes, furniture, grocery items, fast food items and all things you can think of. I believe this is one of the results of a free enterprise. Competition is tough, that’s why every company there is has to fight tooth and nail to get their market. And how? Well, by catering to one of human nature’s weakness -greed - and sending messages that inculcate within us “the bigger, the better” mentality.

But I have to say though, in fairness, that this mentality is NOT unique to America. It’s happening all over the world, wherever free enterprise thrives. But you know what, in other places such as the Philippines, their concept of “BIG” is definitely not the same as what’s considered as such here.

Just to give you an example …. say for instance, clothes…. Here in the US, I buy my shirts usually medium (if I want it to fit well) or large (a little loose). But in the Philippines, my size is an XL (on a good day) or XXL (that’s really a bad day)! Whew! Can you understand the frustration I have when shopping there? ( That's why I maintain that America got it right with clothing sizes... Lol!)

Relatively, food portions / servings in America are also huge. That's why eating in a restaurant is always an experience to me..everytime. I never stopped being amazed at the portions the customer gets! It’s humongous! I’m telling you, one serving they give you here can already feed two Filipinos, at least. I am not kidding.

So when Mr. J came to the Philippines, it was also the reverse experience for him. The servings are much smaller back in my homeland, comparable almost to a kiddie portion here. Imagine my hubby's surprise when we ate at a local pizza place in Cebu (the city where I come from) .... we ordered a large pizza, and what came was the size of a round 8" plate. He looked at the pizza and at me in confusion and said, "that's it? This is personal size!" Yep, that's the size of the large pizza in the Philippines. One gets a much smaller small portion there, commensurate to the Filipino's tiny frames, maybe?

Why am I talking about this? Well, because the dish I have for you today is actually something meant for a smaller portion - it was originally an appetizer in a popular restaurant. This dish was without the pasta; just the saucy shrimps and scallops served with bread so we can dip it, and soak up all that wonderful goodness in a bite. I like it so much that I decided to experiment to try to re-create it, and turn it into a main course by adding pasta.
So, here it is. I am also sending this dish out as my entry to Presto Pasta Nights being hosted by Gay of A Scientist In the Kitchen.

Shrimp & Scallop Mediterranean Pasta

4 oz linguine or thin-style spaghetti
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, chopped
15 kalamata olives, half peices
4 tbsp sundried tomatoes (in olive),julienne
1/2 lb shrimps, small or medium
1/2 lb scallops
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
3 tbsp (or more) feta cheese, crumbles
2 tbsp chopped parsely or torn basil, for garnish
Salt & pepper to taste

1. In a pot bring water to boil. Add pasta and cook till al dente.
2. In the meantime,heat butter and olive oil in a saute pan. Add garlic and green onions. Saute until the aroma fills the air.
3. Add kalamata olives and sundried tomatoes - cook for 30 seconds.
4. Add shrimp and scallops, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until firm. Do not overcook. Remove shellfish from pan but keep warm.
5. Add chicken broth, white wine and bring to a simmer. Reduce until half the amount.
6. Return shellfish to pan. Add the pasta. Mix well.
7. Add the lemon juice, feta cheese and parsley.
8. Remove from heat. Serve garnished with torn basil and more feta cheese, if preferred.

NOTE: The measurements I have given you for the spices are all in estimates, as I was eyeballing everything. Pls. feel free to reduce or increase the amounts, according to your preference.


Ruth Daniels said...

Great post. I must say that living in Canada our portion sizes have crept up in the last few years, but I do remember a trip to the states a number of years ago and was shocked at the vast volume of food on a plate!

That can never have too many shrimps or scallops ;-)

Thanks for sharing this dish with Presto Pasta Nights.

Divya Vikram said...

Hi Jescel n Joseph nice to be paired with you in Taste and Create..I have a lot of innovative dishes to cook from ur blog

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

I hear ya about the portion sizes here. I am guilty of overeating too, but I've been trying to recalibrate my tummy and my brain to accept smaller portions as the norm. This "appetizer" size pasta can be an entree already and you'll have no complaints from me if it's served as an entree. It's delicious and that's the key. Having delicious food satisfies and one tends to eat less when satisfied.

Jescel said...

Ruth - thanks for dropping by. my pleasure to partipate. looking forward to parcticipating regularly.

Divya - nice to be paired with you too.. looking forward to creating something from your blog.

Eating Club - hubby and i say time and again that we should eat Filipino portions. It's a good way to diet :o) Thanks for dropping by my blog.

Mochachocolata Rita said...

LOL...generally sales associates don't believe me when i said i have to wear XXL sized pants to accommodate my giant bottom...they had to see it for themselves! hmmm i should come up with a brand where XXL is called S, at least to make myself feel better hehe

dan ryan steak house in HK claimed they serve US portions....they are disappointingly small though ;)

Corinne said...

Mmm, this looks great... I've been wanting to try a seafood toss for a while... yours compels me to go get some stuff for one right now!

Laura & Todd said...

Just made this for dinner, and it was fantastic!! Thank you :)