With the holidays getting into full swing, life for most of us is getting hectic. Between all the big meals, the parties, the kids needing treats for their classes. ... Who has time for it all?
Well, this dish – my Italian take on surf and turf – will come to your rescue. It is ridiculously easy to make (especially if you use jarred roasted red peppers) and involves just seven ingredients (not counting salt and pepper). But I’ll confess that I stole the basic premise – the shrimp and sausage part – from my friend, and one of my favorite cookbook authors, Bruce Aidells.
Wrapping shrimp around a nugget of sausage was an idea he talked about in his book, “Bruce Aidells’ Complete Sausage Book.” I was amazed the first time I made his recipe. The two proteins meld wonderfully when baked. This is such an impressive trick and looks so clever, it makes the perfect appetizer or hors d’oeuvres for a holiday party.
Italian Surf And Turf With Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Start to finish: 30 minutes
Makes 16 shrimp
16 peeled and deveined large raw shrimp (about 8 to 10 ounces)
6 ounces hot or sweet Italian turkey sausage meat (about 2 links)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 cup roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with kitchen parchment.
Arrange the shrimp on the prepared baking sheet with all of the shrimp facing the same direction to form a series of C’s. Remove the casings from the sausage, place a small mound of the sausage in the center of each shrimp and press down so that the shrimp and sausage filling make a solid round.
In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the olive oil with half the garlic and all of the oregano. Sprinkle the shrimp lightly with salt and pepper, then brush the oil mixture over the shrimp and sausage. Bake the stuffed shrimp until they are cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a blender combine the red peppers, the remaining tablespoon of oil, the remaining garlic, the vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan and heat just until hot.
To serve, arrange the shrimp on a serving platter, then drizzle each with some of the sauce.
Nutrition information per shrimp: 170 calories; 50 calories from fat (29 percent of total calories); 5 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 130 mg cholesterol; 7 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 22 g protein; 710 mg sodium.