Despite my best efforts to the contrary, there are just days when time is not on my side. I’ve got too much to do and not enough time to get it done. Or cosmic forces conspire against me and suck huge chunks of time out of my grasping hands, never to be seen again. A trip to the grocery store that should take 30 minutes turns into an hour. Too bad life doesn’t come with rollover minutes, like in the AT&T commercial. I’d definitely pay for that upgrade.
The problem with poor time management is that something ultimately suffers. You cut corners, trying to wedge a square peg into a round hole, and the end result isn’t exactly the right fit. It will do in a pinch but you know you could do better. That’s how I feel about Mustard Roasted Shrimp.
The clock was already ticking when I set out to make the shrimp. Dinner had to be done and I had to be out the door in little more than an hour. So the notion of marinating the shrimp in mustard, olive oil, and tarragon for an hour in the fridge was immediately dismissed. And soaking bamboo skewers so that the shrimp could be broiled? That would have to wait for another day. These need to be in the oven NOW.
Did you ever notice that when you’re trying to hurry, even the simplest tasks get complicated? Like peeling shrimp. Sure, the package says EZ Peel but should it really take twenty minutes to peel two pounds of large shrimp? In tv land there would be an assistant to instantly transform them into peeled and cleaned morsels. In my kitchen, there’s just the cat sitting there looking mildly interested in me dropping one of those morsels on the floor.
By now, my hour is down to about 40 minutes. Sorry shrimp but the best I can offer you at this point is a short stay in the marinade out on the counter. The oven gets heated, sheet pans get prepped, and the timer ticks down to less than 30 minutes.
Finally, the shrimp go in the oven. At this point, I stop looking at the clock. It will take as long as it takes and since my superpower to stop time has yet to develop, clock watching isn’t going to do me any good. As soon as I start to smell the aroma of hot mustard, it’s time to turn the shrimp over. Tick-tock, tick-tock, I can’t turn the clock in my head off.
At last the shrimp is bright pink and the mustard marinade is just starting to brown on the sheet pans; time to come out of the oven. Sprinkle a quick pinch of salt and onto the plate we go. In the five minutes or so that I have to actually eat, I keep thinking how this is ok but it could be so much better. Each bite mocks me with flat flavor. Even the next day, the leftovers lay there on the plate, not living up to their full potential because of me.
I take full responsibility. I rushed what could have been a very good thing.
Broiled Shrimp with Mustard and Tarragon
From Bon Appetit: Fast, Easy, Fresh
- 1/3 cup dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 green onion, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
- 1 1/2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled and devenined
- 8 wood skewers, soaked for 30 minutes
Whisk first four ingredients in a medium bowl to combine. Add shrimp; toss to coat. Chill 1 to 3 hours.
Heat broiler and line sheet pan with foil. Thread shrimp onto skewers. Season with salt and pepper.
Broil shrimp until cooked through, approximately 2 minutes per side.