May 6, 2009

Scampi Anyone?

You just can't go wrong with Shrimp Scampi, especially if you love shrimp (like Mr. Grumps). If you don't like shrimp, feel free to substitute grilled chicken, or just savor the tomato/garlic/butter sauce over fettuccine.

(Mr. Grumps just came in from his evening jog, saw this on the stove, and took to the stairs whistling, two at a time. He will be showered and downstairs in literally 5 minutes. I've made his night.)

This is such a fast, easy recipe to make. You can have this on the table in about 20 minutes, start to finish.

The very first thing you need to do is open a nice, dry white wine. I like to use an inexpensive wine for cooking, but it's important that it tastes good as well. If it doesn't taste good in the glass, it's not going to "wow" your recipe either. I like Pinot Grigio, and there are some affordable California wines that work nicely for cooking and "enjoying". Tonight, some goes in the scampi, and some goes in a chilled glass for me while I'm cooking. :)
Of course, you'll need cute little shrimp and pasta. I like to use frozen shrimp. I buy the jumbo, or large sized ones, and for the pasta, I prefer fettuccine. (Although of Sicilian descent, Mr. Grumps absolutely hates pasta. So, for him, I serve this meal on rice.) Be sure to rinse the shrimp really well, and check that you are buying ones that are peeled and deveined.
The rest of the recipe is just mincing, slicing, and simmering.
Now get that glass of wine, and let's cook away our worries of the day...
Shrimp Scampi
1 and 1/2 lbs. of large/jumbo, frozen shrimp
1 small onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
3 lemons
1/4 cup fresh, chopped parsley (or 3 teaspoons dry)
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
pasta (fettuccine, linguine, etc)
sea salt/fresh cracked pepper

Rinse the shrimp in a colander, set aside. Chop the onion, mince the garlic, and halve the tomatoes. Mix together in a small bowl. Put on a big pot of salted water, high heat, for the pasta, and bring to a boil.

Grape tomatoes are what I like to use because they're sweet. If you can't find them, you can substitute cherry tomatoes.

Melt the butter in the pan, and add the onion, garlic and tomatoes. Season with sea salt and pepper. Saute for about 3 minutes.
Squeeze the juice of the lemons into the pan (squeezing through your fingers to catch the seeds). Add the wine, parsley and olive oil, mix together. Now, add those adorable shrimp!
A this point, simmer those babies on low heat, and get your pasta cooking. This should all come together now rather quickly. *(I have two pots on the stove, one for rice (boil in the bag type), and one for the fettuccine.)
Cook your pasta for about 6-7 minutes, then drain. Turn up the heat on the scampi, and cook until the shrimp are nice and pink, and the sauce is simmering, about 3 minutes.

Now, Mr. Grumps likes his scampi served on rice, with lots of hot sauce.

I like mine over hot fettuccine, (with a wine refill!) Just generously spoon the sauce and shrimp over the pasta; serve piping hot.
If our girls are home on a scampi night, I like to throw a garlic pizza in the oven for them. This also goes well with the scampi if you're still hungry, or if you've had a bad day. (This won't be helping my bathing suit dilemma, but it sure makes me feel happy.)

Hope you enjoy this recipe!

Thought for the day:
Fish, to taste right, must swim three times - in water, in butter, and in wine.
- culinary proverb

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