2 tbsp. all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. curry powder

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

3/4 lb. large shrimp (about 12), shelled and deveined

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 bunch scallions, cut into 2-in lengths

In a bowl stir together flour, curry powder, cayenne, and salt to taste. Add shrimp to flour mixture, tossing to coat.

In a large heavy skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and saute scallions until well browned and almost tender.

Add shrimp to scallions and saute, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes, or until shrimp are opaque throughout.

SPICY BAKED SHRIMP (another from Jen)

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tbsp. Cajun or Creole seasoning

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

1 tbsp. honey

1 tbsp. soy sauce

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1 pound uncooked large shrimp, shelled and deveined

Lemon wedges

French bread

Combine first 7 ingredients in 9×13-inch baking dish. Add shrimp and topss to coat. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake until shrimp ar cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve shrimp with French bread.

4 servings

(“For this one you don’t have to use as much olive oil which will cut down the fat. Actually for this one [and any oil based marinades] you only count the oil/fat that is absorbed by the meat not all of it. So it isn’t quite as fattening as one might think.”)

“I like all of these recipes because they are all really easy to make. I always keep enough shrimp for a couple of dinners in the freezer so if I’m in a hurry or want something easy to make I just take them out. If you like the shrimp that Len made then you’ll like these recipes.”

— Jen

One of my most successful recipes – Bayou Shrimp- is based on a dinner I ate in Mountain View, California at an old friend’s apartment back in 1993.

Jen is the old friend, one I have lost touch with. And I miss her. Can’t find her on Facebook or Twitter. Googled her and got a result from a Boston newspaper, about staycations.

But she still isn’t in my inbox, unlike years ago.

Back in the early 90s, we worked at Sea World together. The quarrelsome, trouble-stirring, feline parts of our personality clicked and we became fast friends when I transferred to her department. We realized we went to the same college, and we hung out in between and before classes.

People called Jen and I Anastasia and Grisella – after the wicked stepsisters in Cinderella – because we tormented each other (and often times other people) at work, you know, to pass the time. She would sneak up behind me at my desk and pull my hair as hard as she could (while I was on the phone with clients), causing me to yelp in pain. I locked her in her office I recall, or I piled numerous boxes of my sales kits inches behind her chair, limiting her mobility which drove her insane; that, or I stacked the boxes up to the ceiling of her teeny-weeny office on her days off. I hid her favorite green pens.

Never one to concede gracefully, she would methodically wait until after I had spent twenty minutes getting my hair into a French Twist, then she would walk casually by me and pull the clip or pins out, leaving my hair flat, me in distress, and her with a cat-who-ate-the-canary grin every time. And through Jen, I was introduced to the phenomenon of horns growing from the head of a person who needs to eat every two hours but sometimes skips these important meals.

In ’95, Jen followed the boyfriend who would become the husband to San Jose. In ’96, she was my tallest bridesmaid, in ’97, I was her shortest bridesmaid. Then she and her hubby traveled all over Europe for his work, finally settling in New England. I have the ceramic bowl still that she brought me from Prague. But not her current e-mail address. Which is so odd.

But also typical.

I believe when I think about Jen, I have probably crossed her mind too. I think one day we’ll connect in cyberspace again. I know she is up to her ears in kid stuff, marriage maintenance, and watching time get away just like me.

And when I make Bayou Shrimp, or put my hair up in a twist, sometimes I laugh at how bratty I got away with being for a while, and how just because someone isn’t around anymore doesn’t mean they’re gone. Yes, I have this theory stuck in my heart and I feel I can’t let it go, that to do so would be irreverent.

Jen sent me letters for a long time from San Jose/Mountain View, or postcards from Europe, and holiday cards from her home outside Boston. I recently came across four shrimp recipes Jen sent me sixteen years ago (no, sixteen years!?), including Bayou Shrimp.

Hey Jen, Evil One, drop me a line sometime. Or just think some happy thoughts about me, like when you powdered my nose right before I walked down the aisle, or when my husband stole a golf cart at your wedding and caused a ruckus. Because the more happy thoughts and less regret anyone has, the highest energy we release to the world, the better place we make it, right?


Thanks for the recipes.

Smantha Gianulis

Samantha recently released my her family food memoir, Little Grapes on the Vine…Mommy's Musings on Food & Family .

Samantha is a self-taught chef. She worked in the Catering and Special Events industry for seven years before becoming a stay at home, now a work at home, Mom.
She appeared on NBC's ivillage Live.

Smantha Gianulis

Latest posts by Smantha Gianulis (see all) GianulisApron Strings Cooking ColumnHome CookingActivities for Kids,Cooking and RecipesCRISP CURRIED SHRIMP2 tbsp. all purpose flour1/2 tsp. curry powder1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper3/4 lb. large shrimp (about 12), shelled and deveined2 tbsp. olive oil1 bunch scallions, cut into 2-in lengthsIn a bowl stir together flour, curry powder, cayenne, and salt to taste. Add shrimp to flour mixture, tossing to...Parenting Advice| Family Fun Activities for Kids