Monday, June 27, 2011

Tasty Tuesday--A Tribute to My Mama and a Gunn Family Favorite--Shrimp Scampi

Please allow me to begin this post with an introduction. I would like for you to meet a very special lady in my life; in fact, she's the most special lady I know. Two things make this woman so great--1) She gave birth to me (that's pretty darn special!); and 2) She is a wonderful example of everything! Meet my mama and biggest fan, Nan Cauthen Gunn. Mama was probably wandering when I was going to write about her but how could I ever forget when she was the one who taught me how to cook! I could write for days about my mama. She is such a hard-working woman and spends a majority of her time volunteering. She is an active member of her church where she leads the music, a member of Louisville art guild where she exhibits her paintings and leads an art camp for kids in Wadley, recently performed/sang in a two-week long production at Bartow Community Center, cares for my brother and uncle who both have special needs, and like I said the list goes on and on. (And today she is spending her day off cleaning my house!) All of her volunteering and extracurricular activities are an addition to her professional occupation as a pharmacist. I honestly don't know how she is able to carry on after 6 o'clock when she leaves a full day's work at Gunn Drug Company but she does. And honey, when she gets home she throws down in the kitchen. There is never a missed meal at the Gunn residence. Mama makes certain of it.

When I was growing up, mama ALWAYS cooked--on weeknights and weekends. We never went out to eat. The main reason for that was the selection of restaurants in little Wadley were few to none. I can remember as a child begging my parents to take us out. "All of my friends go to Po Joe's and McKenzie's. Why can't we?", I would implore. Ha! Now when we visit I plead them to stay home and cook! It is so funny how things change as you get older. My mama always sacrificed her personal time for my family and making sure we were given a wholesome and well-balanced meal. Not only were her meals nutritious but savory and delicious to the last bite. My mama is the best cook (in addition to many other things) I have ever met. The phrase I often say about my daddy applies to her as well..."My mama can do anything." Mama, if you are reading this, please know that you are my hero. I will love you forever.  

For this Tasty Tuesday recipe, I will be using a version of Southern Living's Shrimp Scampi (taken from "The Southern Living Cookbook" published in 1987 by Oxmoor House, Inc.--this is a classic cookbook). Now obviously mama did not create this recipe herself. But I like to give her the credit because she can re-create it better than anyone. She is the master-mind of this scampi as the shrimp are cooked to profection--just done and never over-cooked. If John, my brother, gets a chance to add in his two cents about what's for dinner he immediately responds with "scampi".  And if Brandon is anywhere around, he seconds it in motion! (Shrimp scampi is Brandon's second favorite meal following closely behind BBQ meatloaf.) Daddy and I third the motion! We all love it as it truly is a Gunn family favorite. When I think of scampi my mama's face quickly pops into mind; therefore, my tribute recipe to my mama is this wonderful Southern Living Shrimp Scampi. Enjoy!

Shrimp Scampi
2 pounds unpeeled medium-size fresh shrimp
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup dry white wine (mom uses chardonnay)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

Peel and devein shrimp. (You can buy shrimp that has already been peeled and deveined in your store's frozen section.)

Sautee green onions, parsley, and garlic in butter until onions are tender. Reduce heat to low; add shrimp. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove shrimp with slotted spoon to a serving dish; keep warm. Add remaining ingredients to butter mixture; simmer 2 minutes. Pour butter mixture over shrimp. Yields 4 servings.

*The Gunn family loves the butter mixutre over a baked potato--or the shrimp and butter mixure served over angel hair pasta. Just don't forget bread to soak up all of the juicy goodness!

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