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We're always on the lookout for more fish and shellfish meals for you, so I was especially pleased to discover a new company (to me, at least) at our local Fresh Market: Scott & Jon's. According to their website, the company was founded by two brothers from Maine and focuses on serving fresh, sustainable seafood. Their ten varieties all feature shrimp and are under 300 calories, while 6 are gluten-free.
For today we have two of their pasta dishes: these are not gluten-free. The instructions for both are the same: cut a 1-inch slit in the plastic overwrap, cook for 2 minutes, remove overwrap and stir, cook another 2 minutes uncovered, then let sit for 1 minute and serve.
The first thing the panel noticed about the Shrimp Scampi was that it "smells great" - it has a light, buttery, and garlicky scent. The pasta is surprisingly al dente and the diced tomatoes are sweet and tangy. Most impressively, the shrimp in this dish clearly aren't pre-cooked at all before being placed in the package.
Thus after a total of 4 minutes in the microwave, they're as sweet and tender as any properly-cooked shrimp should be. (Remember that virtually all shrimp you purchase in a grocery store will have been frozen before they get to you.)
The drawback to this dish, however, are the numbers: 280 calories, 690 milligrams of sodium, and 3 grams of fiber. That's a truly impressive (in a bad way) ratio of not quite 2.5 milligrams of sodium per calorie - and you can taste every last one of those milligrams in the sauce. Yes, the sauce tastes of butter and garlic, but "it's so salty that it's burning my tongue," as one panelist put it. We simply can't recommend it: a disappointing first dish from Scott & Jon's, especially at its price point of $5.99.
The Shrimp Alfredo Pasta Bowl has a much more reasonable amount of sodium, with 290 calories, 490 milligrams of sodium (1.7 milligrams of sodium per calorie), and 3 grams of fiber.
Once again the shrimp are clearly frozen raw, which yields beautifully cooked shrimp: plump, sweet, and juicy. (I've paid much more for less-properly-cooked shrimp at fine dining restaurants.)
There are a couple larger chunks of broccoli stems and a fair number of modestly sized broccoli florets; all have that lightly-steamed crunch. Like the pasta in the Scampi, the fettuccine are cooked just al dente: no overcooked pasta here!
The sauce "could be cheesier," with a more assertive Alfredo flavor, but the lighter sauce allows the flavor of the broccoli and the shrimp to come through nicely. One touch the panel particularly liked is the generous amount of black pepper used in the dish, giving it piquant tang. Overall, "a very respectable dish," even at $5.99. A good way to get more seafood in your diet, even if at the price of two you could probably cook enough Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp and Broccoli to feed four or more.
Review posted: July 19, 2019