Shrimp Scampi

I’ve been a baaaad blogger lately, I know. Life happens, though! I also went through a bit of a recipe rut, but I’m happy to say I think I’m back on track.

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It’s that time of year in NC when the shrimp are running BIG. I got some amazing jumbo shrimp from our trusty CJ’s Shrimp and after making Shrimp and Grits the night before, I wanted to do something a little lighter with the remaining shrimp. Shrimp Scampi it was. I had almost all of the ingredients already on hand, so a no brainer.

I mean, look at this thing! For the record, I have very average sized hands.

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I have to confess. I love wine. Specifically, dry white wine. I always have a bottle, or 2, around. It’s just too easy when there’s a phenomenal wine and beer store 5 minutes from your house. That’s my excuse, at least. I’ve never heard of this wine before, but we asked for a recommendation of a dry white wine for cooking, and this is what we got. It was great and didn’t break the bank! I would also recommend a good Sauvignon Blanc for this recipe.

A big thing for me and my cooking is PREPARATION! I’ve made the mistake of starting a meal without having everything prepped and ready to go too many times. It’s nothing short of maddening. Especially with a quick meal like this, do yourself a favor and have everything ready to throw in the pan! This also includes having a glass of wine while you peel and devein those shrimp. *winky face*

In my head, I broke this recipe down in stages. #1, Pasta. #2, Aromatics/Sauce. #3, Poaching the Shrimp. #4, Finale (last touches, adding the Pasta).

Stage #1: Boil Pasta according to package ingredients to al dente. Easy enough. Don’t overcook it because the pasta will be added back to the hot sauce and you don’t want it too done.  I used Angel Hair as this is my husband’s favorite. Linguini would also be good. Set aside.

Stage #2: Over medium heat, add olive oil and butter until butter is melted. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes, dried oregano, the garlic and shallots and cook for a minute or 2. You want them to be fragrant, but not golden. Add a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper as well.

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Once maximum fragrance has been reached, add your wine and let it simmer for a minute. Use your nose, you don’t want the sauce to reduce that much, but you want the alcohol to burn off. You can smell it. Sauce is done, turn the heat to lowest possible setting.

Stage #3: Poaching the Shrimp. You’re probably wondering, “what the what?” I get it. I got this from an Andrew Zimmern recipe. It was a revelation. Cooking the shrimp this way guarantees they will taste like little lobsters. This is now my go-to method if there is a sauce involved and my shrimp are going in it. Unfortunately, I geeked and didn’t take any photos of this stage. I was a little preoccupied. I’ll try to remedy that soon.

To poach the shrimp!  Now that your heat is set to LOW, the sauce is likely not simmering or simmering at the slightest. Perfect. Add your shrimp in a single layer and season with a bit of salt and pepper. My shrimp were about half way in/out of the sauce which is ideal. Let them just hang out there for about 10 minutes or so until it looks like they bottom half has pinked up. Don’t rush it. It should be a slow and steady process. Before flipping, sprinkle on top the parsley and lemon zest. Flip and let cook through. Another 8-10 minutes should do it.

Here, I have my “stage 3/4” ingredients prepped.  About 1/4 cup of Parsley that I chopped, zest of one lemon and we’ll be using the lemon juice as well.

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Stage #4: Finale. Once the shrimp are cooked through, remove the pan from the heat. Add the lemon juice and cooked pasta. Give it a nice toss and you should have something that resembles this:

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Season to taste with additional salt/pepper. Go easy with the salt if you plan on topping with Parmesan. I kept it light and fresh and opted out of the Parm this time.

This turned out SO good. I do hope you give it a whirl and it turns out good for you too. As always, I only recommend a dish like this using the BEST and LOCAL shrimp you can find. Otherwise, I can’t guarantee the taste/texture of the shrimp will be ideal.

Shrimp Scampi

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Fresh Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 package of Angel Hair pasta (or desired pasta), cooked to al dente per package directions
  • 3 Tbs Olive Oil
  •  4 Tbs Unsalted Butter
  • 8-10 cloves of Garlic, minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 Shallot, minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/8 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/8 tsp dried Oregano
  • 1/2 cup Dry White Wine
  • 1/4 cup of Parsley, chopped
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • Salt/ Pepper
  • Optional: Parmesan Cheese for serving.

Directions

  1. Cook pasta to al dente per package directions. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over Medium heat. Add Olive Oil and butter until melted.
  3. Add to melted butter/oil the Red Pepper Flakes, Oregano, Garlic and Shallot. Season with a bit of Salt and Pepper.
  4. Let Aromatics cook until fragrant but not allowing them to golden/brown. About a minute or so.
  5. Add the White Wine and let come to a simmer. Cook until alcohol has burned off, about 1 minute. The nose knows. Give it a sniff!
  6. Reduce heat to LOW.
  7. Add Shrimp in a single layer and season with Salt and Pepper.
  8. Allow to poach for about 8-10 minutes or until the bottom half of shrimp have turned pink. Be patient.
  9. Flip the shrimp and sprinkle with Parsley and Lemon Zest.
  10. Let poach another 8-10 minutes until cooked through.
  11. Remove from heat. Add the Lemon Juice and Pasta. Combine thoroughly and season to taste with additional  Salt and Pepper.
  12. Serve topped with Parmesan Cheese, if desired. I opted out of the Parm to keep it light and refreshing.

Let me know what you think!

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