Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Shrimp Scampi Recipe

So, this was our dinner last night, over some linguine. So good! Though it probably would have been better if I'd remembered about the homemade pasta in my freezer... oops. It's a really quick meal and I have a million lemons right now from my parents' house, and the parsley in the garden wants to take over the world, so this was a perfect use of what we already had. My go-to easy meal if we're feeling fancy enough to buy shrimp. Mmm...

Here's the recipe I use, as adapted from Italian Classics (By the editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine! I generally trust anything they put their name on.)

Shrimp Scampi
Serves 2-ish (And I'm shortening it and using my own words because it's easier than typing a whole page. You get it.)

2 Tbsp good olive oil
1 pound peeled, deveined large shrimp* (I use the Argentinean red shrimp from Trader Joe's. They're wild caught and they taste kind of lobster-y. Their season is suuuuper short, though, so we hoard a couple bags in our freezer.)
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed (I sometimes add a couple more, as we love fresh garlic in our house)
2 Tbsp lemon juice (I juice half a lemon and usually call it good)
1 Tbsp dry vermouth (or one "glug," as my Grandmama would say)
Freshly minced parsley leaves
Pinch of cayenne pepper (or two)
Salt and pepper, to taste

*The recipe calls for 2 pounds of shrimp to serve 4-6, but 2 pounds of shrimp is expensive, and when you serve this over a huge bowl of pasta to soak up the extra juices, you'll be pretty full. BUT if you want to splurge on 2 pounds of shrimp, double the rest of the ingredients. It's not saucy enough otherwise.)

The greatest thing: the shrimp and sauce are prepared in one pan in almost no time. In fact, it's just about the same amount of time it takes to cook a pound of linguini or spaghetti.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the shrimp and cook until just done (medium heat, flipping once, a couple minutes on each side), - they'll be re-heated once the rest of the sauce is complete. Remove shrimp and accumulated juices to a bowl and set aside. Return the skillet to medium-low heat. Put 1 Tbsp of the butter in the skillet. When the foaming subsides, add the garlic and stir constantly until fragrant (30 seconds). Off the heat, whisk in the lemon juice, vermouth, and the remaining 2 Tbsp butter. Return the shrimp to the pan and throw in the parsley, cayenne, and any additional salt and pepper.

Because this sauce comes together so quickly, I like to have everything pre-chopped and poured out into prep bowls. (Nerd alert!) It makes the process much smoother. If you don't have prep bowls, you can have the garlic, butter chunks, and parsley in piles on a cutting board- just have them ready so you can toss them in when it's time.

Also really fantastic with homemade bread or a good baguette if you haven't got pasta. Unfortunately, shrimp don't re-heat super well as leftovers, but this is so good (rich, but good) you won't need to worry about it.

Love, Lauren


  1. Yummy!!! Totally going to try this :)

  2. Shrimp is one of my luxuries... well done Lauren. And I love your nerd alert, and the nerd alert siren goes off all the time when im in the kitchen too :)