Friday, January 15, 2010

Maine Shrimp Scampi

I think I had a traumatic experience with shrimp scampi when I was younger. Maybe a less-than-fresh dish of it made me a little queasy once, but whatever it was, I have a bad association with this dish.

That said, I really want to like it- and sometimes I just crave buttery, salty, garlicky, spicy shrimp pasta. Inspired by Amuse-Bouche for Two's Fettuccine with Sardines and Bread Crumbs, I set out to make a shrimp scampi that wasn't too salty or heavy and, of course, one that didn't turn my stomach!

After purchasing a lemon, parsley, shrimp, shallots, and pasta, while knowing I had panko, olive oil, white wine, garlic, and chili flakes at home, I figured the dish would be pretty hard to mess up.

I sauteed the shallots, garlic, and chilies in a healthy pour of olive oil, dumped in the shrimp and sauteed a bit more. The shrimp released a lot of liquid, which made me nervous, since I was planning to add more liquid (white wine) still.

But I pressed ahead, added the wine, a squeeze of half a lemon, diced parsley, and seasoned with salt to taste. I let the liquid cook down a bit, but didn't want to risk overcooking the shrimp, so I ladled the shrimp and sauce over some linguini and topped with some toasted panko and a pat of salted butter.

And whatdya know, I had done it! The sauce was great, not too salty or garlicky, not too rich or greasy, but light, lemony, and spicy. The bread crumbs were a great idea (Thanks Amuse-Bouche!), as they added a nice crunchiness throughout the dish- kinda like when you get tempura flake in your sushi roll, yum.

If you're uncomfortable winging this dish like I described above, check out the Epicurious recipe I used for inspiration.


  1. Thanks for the shout, Kate. :)

    I updated the archive in the right menu, so you can now click on an individual post which will then load with it's own unique URL for copying.

    Oh, and don't worry about having too much liquid. The pasta will soak it right good!

  2. This looks yummy! If I hadn't already decided to do a steamed shrimp fest with those shrimps I'm picking up at Whole Foods after work (they're on sale!) I would totally do this!

  3. I am glad you tried it again - it looks great!!

    I love - one of my favorite recipe sites!

    Hope you have a great weekend!!

  4. You were totally right to not risk overcooking the shrimp. Sometimes I remove them right after the initial saute, (where I cook 'em raging hot to get a little caramelization) then throw 'em back in at the end. Also, it you ever get some fresh shrimps with the heads still attached, you gotta try cooking them with the sauce for some awesome shrimp-tastic Flava!

  5. I had the same problem stated above- over cooked maine shrimp and excess liquid. I gave up and just went back to eating maine shrimp the way I do lobster- boiled, shucked and dipped in butter but I definitely would like to give your recipe a try!

  6. Just read your recipe, ?Did you use raw shrimp meats or cooked in the shell and picked out shrimp?I use the later of two and add them at the end, this prevents over cooking. Also do equal amounts butter & EVOO. Havent tried the crumbs, sound yummy, will try!

  7. I use raw shrimp meat! I don't think I have the patience to pick all the shrimp, but I understand that their heads are the most flavorful part. I'll have to try cooking with them.