O Dinis is a cozy treasure of a restaurant serving family-style Portuguese food and delivering music every Monday night.
As general manager, Natalia Paiva-Neves is always on the move and cooking up more fun, and food, for the East Providence restaurant Her father, owner Dinis Paiva, is sometimes a singer at the restaurant.
Most recently, she curated the menu of the new Providence tapas bar Aguardente for those seeking out new cultural experiences.
So who else but a busy mother of two would we invite to cook and create a Small Bites video for a holiday appetizer?
Camarao Alinho, or Shrimp in Garlic Butter Sauce, is her recipe. A native of the Azores, she loves some spice and garlic and to feed her big extended family.
"I will serve this on Christmas Eve in my home," she said. She will plan for four or five shrimp per person. She also suggests you can serve it over delicate pasta such as angel hair.
But at her house, she will first have to get through the preparation. She predicts her two sons will fight over the heads of the whole shrimp she will buy for the dish. Boys will be boys, she says, but they do love the taste, too.
"I think the heads add a lot more flavor and hold the sauce," Paiva-Neves said.
She suggests buying the whole large shrimp and peeling off the shells at home. She picks them up at any Whole Foods market, or Portugalia, the Fall River superstore.
Is there a way to make this dish vegetarian? Paiva-Neves said you could use portabella mushrooms or even eggplant slices. Fry either one in place of the shrimp.
The dish comes together in minutes.
Small Bites is a collaboration between The Providence Journal and the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau.
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided use
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 head of garlic
- 2 pounds whole large shrimp, peeled
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 8 lemon slices
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup dry Portuguese white wine such as Alvarinho or Gris de Gris Rose
Heat a sauté pan and then add the olive oil and two tablespoons of butter.
Peel and smash the cloves in the head of garlic and put in the pan to cook for a minute or two. Add the shrimp, salt and red pepper. Sauté and let the oil and butter caramelize. It won't take long.
Add the lemon slices and use a wooden spoon to rub them into the pan to add flavor.
Add pepper and wine, and let the wine burn off, which won't take much time as the pan is still hot.
Add the last two tablespoons of butter and serve. Drizzle on hot peppers if you like. You can also serve the shrimp and sauce atop angel hair pasta.
Details: O Dinis, 579 Warren Ave., East Providence, (401) 438-3769, odinisrestaurant.com