Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Shrimp Scampi

Of Italian origin. Originally not battered, deep-fried, boiled, broiled, or submerged in anything but the juice it gives up when coaxed properly. No wine, no tomato sauce, no fish or chicken stock, no water, no cream. A squirt of lemon and a sprinkle of parsley ... posthumously. Go ahead, coax a shrimp.

(I'm trying this new feature of Blogger where you can click the pic for a larger version.)


1 lb. large shrimp - peeled, deveined, tails left on

2 tbsp. high-heat oil
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, sliced thinly
2 tbsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Spice mixture (Optional, or to your preference)

dried thyme
dried oregano
ground ancho chili
ground chipotle chili
red pepper flakes
ground onion
ground garlic


1   Blend black pepper and kosher salt with 2 tbsp. olive oil. Toss shrimp with seasoned oil. Set aside.

Note: Here's where you can add any or all of the spices I have listed above. Season the marinade oil with about 1/8 tsp. each. Be judicious with cayenne, chipotle or any other hot pepper you might be using. Peppers bloom when soaked in oil.

2   Place sliced garlic into cold 10-inch skillet (not non-stick) with 1 or 2 tbsp. olive oil. Turn the flame on as low as it can be adjusted. Cook. Turn heat off when garlic has begun to sizzle and is just turning amber around the edges. Remove garlic from the pan after it cools, about 5 minutes.

Note: This method extracts the most garlic flavor without causing bitterness. Try not to let the garlic turn too dark.

3   Increase heat in the pan to medium-high. Add 1 or 2 tbsp. high-heat oil (just enough to coat the bottom of your pan). When the pan is hot, add seasoned shrimp. Let them cook undisturbed for at least 1 minute to brown, turn each of them, and let cook undisturbed another minute. Cover the pan, turn the heat to low, and cook another 2 or 3 minutes. Don't stir the shrimp. Without lifting the lid, turn the heat off and let sit for 4 or 5 minutes. The shrimp will give up their juice in this rest period.

4   After the shrimp have sweated, lift lid and test one for doneness. It should be warm and juicy but not tough. You may recover and reheat for another minute or two if the shrimp seem undercooked, but not too long or you will cook off the rendered juice. When done, add lemon juice and parsley to the pan, stir briefly, and serve immediately.

I like to put the whole pan on the table and use bits of crusty bread to sop up juices. Ugh, life is good.


Anonymous said...

Great Recipe. This is my third time making it. The entire family loves it.

Anonymous said...

do you ever return the garlic? this looks delicious!