Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shrimp and Asparagus over Spaghetti Squash with White Wine Reduction

Ohhh, yum. I tried spaghetti squash again last night to go with our shrimp and asparagus. (Did you know asparagus is on sale this week at Giant for $1.88/lb.?!)

This time, I quartered the two squash (rather than halving them) and sprinkled kosher salt liberally over the rind and pulp area. Within 15 or 20 minutes it was sweating. See? :

After the squash had wept its juice out a while, rather than rinse off the juice and risk making it wet again, I used a paper towel to soak out the moisture. Then I set it in the oven to bake.

In a small saucepan, I added 2 cups of chicken broth, 2 tbsp. butter, 4 tbsps. of vinegar (I used 2 tarragon, 2 white wine vinegar), the cream from a can of coconut milk, and 1/4 c. white cooking wine. I had it on medium low, simmering to reduce.

While the squash was baking and the sauce was reducing, I removed the tails from, shelled, and butterflied my shrimp (you can also buy them preshelled/tails off). I tossed them in a pan with the fresh asparagus (cut into thirds and quarters) and a bit of butter and salt, and sauteed for about 7 minutes.

By this point the sauce had reduced by about half, and the squash was nearly done. (I took the asparagus and shrimp off the burner so that they wouldn't overcook.)

Once the squash was done, the middle was scooped out and the meat was fluffed into those spaghetti strands we know and love. I topped the spaghetti squash with the shrimp and asparagus and drizzled the white wine reduction over. Mmmm! That's a sauce I'll definitely be making again.

(But - anybody with tips on primal / paleo friendly ways to thicken sauces and reductions? I have some arrowroot starch but I haven't yet had the time to research whether it's 'acceptable'.)

Here's the same recipe in a more all-in-one standard format:

Shrimp and Asparagus over Spaghetti Squash with White Wine Reduction
Serves 4

2 small spaghetti squash, quartered
2 lbs. raw shrimp (fresh or thawed), peeled, tails off, deveined, and butterflied
2 lbs. fresh asparagus, washed and cut into 2-3 inch long pieces(I use kitchen shears for this), bottom inch or so discarded
2 tablespoons butter, for sauteeing the shrimp and asparagus
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder, for sauteeing the shrimp and asparagus
2 tablespoons butter, for the sauce
2 c. chicken (or other) broth
2-4 tablespoons vinegar(s) of choice
1/4 c. white cooking wine (or other white wine that you have laying around)
Cream from one can of coconut milk (do not include or mix in the watery excess)

Prepare your reduction: Add butter, chicken broth, coconut cream, vinegar(s), and white wine to a small saucepan, and allow to simmer at low-medium heat until half-reduced (45 min. - 1 hr., likely).

Heavily salt the quartered spaghetti squash and allow to weep for at least 20 minutes. Pat dry with a paper towel, then set in 400 degree oven to bake for ~45 minutes.

After the spaghetti squash has been baking and sauce has been reducing for about 30 or 40 minutes, prepare the shrimp and asparagus, and sautee with butter and garlic powder in large pan on high heat, for about 7 minutes. Remember, it's hard to "overcook" the spaghetti squash, and also hard to "overcook" the reduction, but overcooking asparagus and shrimp is quite easy! So when in doubt, check your squash by gently shredding the meat with a fork to see if it is ready or near-ready, and then you'll know that you're good to start cooking the shrimp and asparagus.

After asparagus and shrimp have cooked, remove from the heat of the burner and take the spaghetti squash out of the oven. Scoop the seeds and pulp out of the spaghetti squash and then use a couple of forks to shred the spaghetti strands away from the interior. Put spaghetti strands at bottom of a shallow bowl, top with shrimp and asparagus, and then pour the white wine reduction over. Garnish with cheese if desired.


  1. I just added the "official recipe" format to the bottom. :)

  2. I've read that the yolks of hard cooked eggs work well as a thickener, though I have yet to try it.


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