Thursday, March 10, 2011

Shrimp Scampi

This is a wonderful - and easy recipe. And it was the first one I attempted to make - and photograph - in our apartment's small, galley kitchen. 

Since I had the time to clean up after the initial prep, I got off to a great start. That's the secret to cooking in this kitchen. Clean-as-you-go leaves plenty of counter space. No problemo. But I'd decided to serve from the kitchen (Adam & Sarah were with us for dinner) and this is one of those recipes that requires all your attention once you start to cook. As I quickly discovered, there wasn't time for c-a-y-g. In my NH kitchen, I just dump empty prep dishes in the double sink or on the acres of counter space around the stove. Doesn't work here. As I started to cook, the priority became stirring the shrimp so they didn't (God forbid!) overcook, while stirring the pasta so it didn't (God forbid!) stick together, while running hot water into the serving bowl and desperately trying to find a couple of square inches of empty counter space for used cutting boards, bowls, large knives and spoons.  Suddenly, there I was: standing in the midst of total chaos with a bowl of perfectly pink shrimp and nowhere to put it, while the wine and lemon juice boiled away, threatening to reduce to nothing. 

The camera never entered my mind.

So... a couple of nice shots, then just the rest of the recipe. 

Shrimp Scampi

1 pound linguine or pasta of your choice
4 tablespoons butter (divided in half)
4 tablespoons olive oil (divided in half)
1 large shallot, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, finely diced or put through a garlic press
Pinch of red pepper flakes
About 1 pound large, raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (these are a staple in my refrigerator)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup chopped Italian (flat leaf) parsley

Two smaller shallots and some hefty garlic cloves. 

The grocery store only had jumbo shrimp, which when left whole, are too large for one, polite bite.
I hate fussing with cutting them while trying to eat pasta, so I cut them in half before cooking.
You can tell the parsley's really fresh by the bright green color.

A marriage made in heaven. A dry white wine and lemon.
No comments from the peanut gallery about the bottle being empty...

And that's all the pictures there are. You'd think I would have remembered to take a great shot of the finished product, but alas...  all I could think of was sitting down and filling my empty belly with pasta and shrimp! You'll just have to make it for yourself!

1.   Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and linguine and cook until the pasta is NOT quite done.
2.   RESERVE 1 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta (I drain the pasta right into the serving dish – the hot water warms the bowl and keeps it hot until you are ready for it).
3.   While pasta is cooking, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
4.   Saute the shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes until the shallots are translucent – about 3 to 4 minutes.
5.   Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and add to the pan.
6.   Cook until they turn pink – about 2 to 3 minutes – then remove with slotted spoon and set aside.
7.   Add the wine and lemon juice to the pan and bring to a boil.
8.   Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and oil.
9.   When the butter has melted, return the shrimp to the pan along with the parsley, pasta and reserved water.  Stir over high heat until pasta is done (shouldn’t take any more than a minute).
10.  Transfer to warm pasta bowl, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a bit more olive oil.

Serves: 4 (or 2 and great leftovers!!) 

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