Oh, and what are these basics everyone should have in his/her pantry, you ask? Besides a nice variety of spices, some kind of starch (rice, couscous, pasta, etc), frozen shrimp (one of the fastest proteins to defrost), eggs (multipurpose - cooking AND baking!), parmesan cheese (keeps for a long time), butter (duh, it's butter!), frozen peas (personal preference, any frozen veggie will do), and lemons (keep in the fridge). You can make plenty of meals using these ingredients. And here's tonight's:
One note: I made a whole pot of brown rice first so I could have some for leftovers. I only used about a third of it for tonight's meal. I should have added peas to the rice... next time!
Salt and Pepper Shrimp
5 uncooked shrimps (16-20 count, just use 1 serving if using a diff size)
1/4 C cornstarch (or rice flour, or flour)
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground red pepper flakes
1/4 C panko bread crumbs
Heat oil in the bottom of a pot (to avoid oil splash ups) over med high heat. Spread panko onto a plate. Mix the cornstarch, salt, and peppers. Dredge the shrimp in the spice mix, then press into panko. Fry shrimp on each side until they turn pink and curl (you're going for a "c" shape, not an "o").
Simple Fried Brown Rice
1 C cooked brown rice (day old is best, but you can use freshly cooked)
2 tsp canola oil
Heat canola oil in pot until hot. Toss in rice. Season with salt and garlic powder. Stir fry until well mixed. Turn off heat. Clear room in the center of the pot and break egg into it. Season with salt and scramble. Mix into rice. Cook until egg is cooked through.