Bright and full of flavor, Shrimp Scampi is quick enough for a weeknight meal, but it’s also sophisticated enough for a dinner party. So whether it’s just you or a gathering, serve it with pasta, rice, or crusty bread to sop up the yummy garlicky butter sauce.
This is one of the best scampi recipes we’ve ever had — most likely because of the shrimp stock. And the bonus is, since you only use a 1/4 cup of the stock, you have 2 cups leftover for another seafood meal or soup. Or, freeze some in 1/4 cup quantities so the next time you make this scampi, you won’t have to go through the entire process again!
For the shrimp, we had 1 1/4 pounds of shrimp with intact heads in the freezer. Which by the time we decapitated them, our volume was about one pound, as opposed to the 1 1/2 pounds the recipe calls for, making just enough to split between the two of us without any leftovers…. bummer.
Being aficionados of bold flavors, we doubled the amount of garlic and added a healthy 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. As a garnish, we reserved some of the chopped fresh parsley to add a pop of green sprinkled on the finished dish. Make sure to add a lemon wedge to each plate for a fresh squeeze of citrus as a final flavor enhancer.
A definite keeper!!
Making the stock with veggies and shrimp shells. Note the black eyeballs of the crustacean heads.
After removing shells and heads, the shrimp are patted dry and sprinkled with salt and pepper.
After the stock is made, cook butter, parsley, garlic, and lemon zest for a few minutes.
The shrimp are added briefly to the parsley-garlic sautée.
As the heat is raised, other ingredients are incorporated before the shrimp are removed to finish the sauce.
- 1-1/2 lb. extra jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per lb.), peeled and deveined (shells reserved), tails left on, if you like
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 1 medium rib celery, chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, halved
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced (2 Tbs.)
- 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- Lemon wedges for serving
- In a 4-quart saucepan, combine the reserved shrimp shells, carrot, celery, onion, and bay leaf. Add 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes.
- Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve 1/4 cup for the scampi. (Freeze the rest for other uses.)
- Pat the shrimp dry and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. In a 12-inch heavy-duty skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the parsley, garlic, and lemon zest and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Raise the heat to high, add the shrimp, and cook until they start to turn pink, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the reserved shrimp stock and simmer until the shrimp are just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice and crushed red pepper flakes, if using, and stir to coat.
- With a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a serving plate. Whisk the remaining 1one tablespoon butter into the sauce. If the sauce seems thin, simmer it gently for a minute or two to thicken.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, pour over the shrimp, and serve with the lemon wedges on the side.
NOTE: After the shrimp are cooked, remove them with a slotted spoon and swirl in the last tablespoon of butter; add the shrimp back to coat and serve.
Whisk in the remaining tablespoon of butter and let thicken for a minute or two.
by Melissa Pellegrino from Fine Cooking