March 17, 2011

Shrimp "Scampi"

Before Stud left to abandon me for a month, we played old married couple and stayed in last Saturday and enjoyed a nice home cooked meal, some wine, and a movie. I was really looking for something light and spring-like since the weather is finally warming up around here. And I still had that clam spaghetti in my head courtesy of my mom a few weeks back. With that in mind, I set out to make shrimp scampi, which I had never had before, but it sounded good! Seafood, garlic, freshness, pasta…how could I go wrong??? Well, I ended up making some variety of shrimp scampi. Most of the recipes I read had you bake the shrimp in the oven, but since I am lazy and was tossing it was pasta, I made it in a large skillet so I could toss the shrimp with the spaghetti to absorb all the good flavors. So this is my rendition.

Shrimp Scampi
1 lb shrimp (I think we used 15-30 which was perfect for little bite size shrimpies)
5 cloves of garlic
2 shallots
4 T. olive oil
2 t. red pepper flakes
½ c. white wine
Juice from ½ lemon
½ c. parsley
Leaves from 6-8 sprigs of thyme
¼ t. dried rosemary (my plant bit the dust over the winter, use 1/2 T. fresh chopped leaves if you have it)
1 lb. linguine
2 T. butter

If not already done, remove the shells and de-vein the shrimp. Start the pasta water and once boiling, add the linguine. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, add the olive oil and garlic and cook for a few minutes until fragrant. Add in the shallots and cook for a few minutes more. Add in the pepper flakes, 2 T. of the parsley, thyme, and rosemary and sauté for just a minute or two. Add in the white wine and cook until most of the wine has cooked off. Do the same with the lemon juice. Once most of the lemon juice has cooked off (it will smell so good), add in the shrimp and cook just until they are finished. The way I can tell is when they have curled up and are opaque. If the linguine isn’t finished yet, turn off the heat. If it is, drain and add to the shrimp along with the rest of the parsley and keep over low heat. Toss the linguine with the shrimp until the liquid has been absorbed into the noodles. Finish with the butter and toss until it’s melted.

So flavorful and PERECT for the rising temperatures outside. And it the dish was so pretty overall – pink shrimp, green parsley. I love it when a meal looks and tastes good. The lemon juice added a nice brightness to the meal (I am trying to get better at describing dishes so I have been paying more attention to Food Network!) and the subtle heat from the pepper flakes was a nice touch. But can be omitted if you don’t like spicy. And I also really liked the thyme in here. I thought it was a weird addition, but it was a really nice flavor. Overall, could become a summer time staple over here especially if we can keep the freezer stocked with frozen shrimp!

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