One of the great things about being responsible for dinner is that I get to prepare what I love to eat and ignore the things I don’t really like. For instance, I don’t much care for most fish. I do eat fish occasionally, because I know it’s good for me, but it’s not on the top of my list.
I do love shrimp, lobster and crab, however, and would eat them several times a week if I could. Even better, my better half loves shrimp, too.
For years, I was convinced that I’d never be able to prepare my favorite shellfish properly, but I was wrong. As it turns out, Shrimp Scampi is an incredibly easy recipe to prepare. I can’t tell you how easy this is, so let me just show you how to do it.
Serves 2-4, depending on appetite and side dishes.
1/3 stick unsalted butter (Salted butter will work but the results won’t be nearly as good.)
4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1 lb. shrimp
salt and pepper to taste
Peel and devein shrimp, if necessary. Pat dry with paper towels.
Heat saute pan to medium-high heat. Pan MUST be large enough to accommodate all shrimp in single layer.
Add butter and wait till it melts. Do NOT walk away from this, or you may end up browning the butter, which is NOT a good thing!
Add shrimp and let cook for about 2 minutes, depending on size. What you’re looking for is for the bottom half of the shrimp to turn pink and opaque.
Using tongs or similar implement, turn shrimp and continue cooking.
When shrimp are almost done, add garlic.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Add parsley flakes. (If you happen to have fresh parsley, feel free to use it; it looks great!) I hesitate to offer an amount here, because what you’re looking for is enough parsley to show well on the shrimp. The first time you prepare this, add a little at a time until you’re satisfied.
Immediately squeeze lemon juice into pan. Swirl pan to combine juice with butter.
Serve shrimp to plate and drizzle with remaining sauce.
See how easy that was? Once you feel confident with this dish, you can consider adding the following optional ingredients:
1/2 medium onion, finely minced. If you add this to the recipe, saute the onion until translucent before adding shrimp to pan.
1/2 cup white wine. Lots of recipes call for this, but I omit it, because I don’t often have white wine in the house. And when I do, I’m reluctant to open an entire bottle just to use a half cup of it.
Hot sauce. Some recipes call for a dash or two of hot sauce, such as Tobasco® sauce. Even though I love hot and spicy recipes, I find I prefer this one without the extra heat.
1. For me, the bigger the shrimp, the better. So whenever my local store has them on sale, I get the extra jumbo size, which is about 16-20 shrimp per pound. When they’re on sale, they are the same price as jumbo size, which is about $10 per pound. However, you can use whatever size strikes your fancy. The only difference is that the more shrimp per pound, the more you’ll have to peel and/or devein.
2. The shrimp that I normally get are already deveined, so all I have to do is peel the shell off, which saves a lot of time and hassle. Just something to remember.
3. Normally, the shrimp you get in most stores has been frozen. If I buy the shrimp the same day as I’m going to use them, sometimes they’re still a bit frozen. To thaw them, just put them in a colander and run cold water over them for a few minutes.
As I said, this recipe is a LOT easier than you might have thought. Try the basic recipe first to gain confidence. Then, if you’re of a mind, try some or all of the variations. Then leave me a comment to let me know how it all turned out, OK? Until next time, have fun and…
Play with your food!
Did you like this recipe? What recipes would you like to learn? Leave me a comment and tell me your thoughts! (And don’t forget to LIKE this post!) Share it using the tiles below.