Shrimp Scampi. Buttery, garlicy goodness.
For some reason, shrimp scampi in most restaurants comes with a ginormous mound of pasta in cream sauce. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for pasta and especially all for cream sauce, but sometimes you just want the shrimp and only the shrimp.
Well, the shrimp and the garlic and the butter.
When I have REALLY good shrimp like these big beauties from Key West, I make scampi.
It’s quick, easy, simple, and incredibly tasty. This feels like a really special meal, but it all came together in about 10 minutes. In fact, it probably takes longer to peel and de-vein the shrimp than it does to cook the whole meal.
And speaking of shrimp, this is the meal to buy the really good ones. The bigger the better.
Here’s what you need:
Shrimp, Butter, Olive Oil, Garlic, Lemon, Red Pepper Flakes, Dry Vermouth or White Wine, Salt & Pepper.
Garlic! Lots of garlic.
Chop 4-5 nice big cloves of garlic and 1/2 cup of fresh parsley.
Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick skillet over high heat. Add 1 pound of peeled and de-veined shrimp* and cook QUICKLY…only about 1 minute per side if your pan is good and hot.
*You can buy shrimp that have already been peeled and de-veined and I often do. However, sometimes the better and bigger shrimp will have the shells on them. Peeling them is very easy — just snap off the tail, peel off the shell and the little legs. Run a sharp knife down the rounded part of the back to take out the “vein”. For more about peeling and de-veining shrimp, click on this shrimp and broccoli recipe (which you should also seriously consider making sometime soon).
Lucky for us, shrimp have a built in thermostadt. When they get bright pink and the sides just start to curl, they’re done. Flip them over and cook on the other side for a minute more then take them out of the pan.
Turn the heat on the pan down to medium and add 2 Tablespoons of butter. Add the chopped garlic and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon (depending on how hot you like things) of red pepper flakes.
Cook the garlic in the butter for a few minutes, stirring and watching to be sure that the butter does not brown.
Add 1/2 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine. I love the tangy flavor of vermouth for this dish. It’s a cleaner and more simple flavor than wine.
Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a lemon and simmer the sauce 2-3 minutes until slightly reduced.
Add the chopped parsley and 2 more Tablespoons of butter.
Yes, more butter. Do it.
Adding the butter at the end “finishes” the sauce…makes it glossy and wonderful.
Whisk in the butter and bring the sauce back to a simmer if it is not already simmering
Add the shrimp back to the pan and bathe them in the luxurious butter sauce. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
Heat just to rewarm the shrimp and serve immediately.
Add something green like asparagus or roasted green beans and a big hunk of crusty bread for sopping up all that sauce.
Eat this with someone you love and have garlic breath together!
Here’s the recipe:
Oh, and if you haven’t had roasted green beans….oh my gosh, you are missing out big time. Heat the oven to 400 degrees, toss some green beans with a little olive oil, salt & pepper and put them on a sheet pan. Roast for 10 minutes. Grate a little parmesan cheese on top. Good stuff.