Do you have a favorite meal for those need-something-quick-and-don’t-want-to-have-to-plan-or-work-too-hard days? I like keeping a bag of shrimp in the freezer just for those times. I’ll put some frozen shrimp in a bowl of ice water, and if I’m serving them with pasta, by the time the pasta water has come to a boil the shrimp are defrosted enough to cook. Shrimp scampi has to be one of the easiest ways to quickly prepare shrimp. We simply sauté the shrimp with garlic in butter and olive oil, splash it with white wine, let the wine reduce while the shrimp cooks, and then toss it with fresh parsley, lemon juice and black pepper.
If you are using frozen shrimp, defrost them quickly and safely by putting the shrimp in a large bowl of ice water.
- 1 pound large (16-20 count) shrimp, shelled* and de-veined, tail-on for presentation if you want
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons butter
- 3-4 garlic cloves, slivered, or 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
* Whether you prepare the shrimp shell on or off is really up to you. Cooking the shrimp with the shells still on will impart more flavor, but they are much messier to eat. Shelling the shrimp before cooking them will make the shrimp a lot easier to eat and you can save the shells for shellfish stock if you want.
1 Heat a sauté pan on high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter melts, foams up and subsides, add the garlic and red pepper flakes. If using unsalted butter, sprinkle with salt. Sauté for a minute, or until you see the edges of some of the garlic just beginning to brown.
2 As soon as the garlic begins to brown, add the shrimp to the pan. Then add the white wine and stir to combine and coat the shrimp with the butter, oil, and wine. Spread the shrimp out in an even layer in the pan. Increase the heat to the highest setting and let the wine boil vigorously for 2-3 minutes.
3 Turn the shrimp over, or toss them so the cooked sides are mostly facing up, and boil the wine for another minute. Remove from the heat, add the parsley and toss to combine. Add the lemon juice and black pepper.
Serve alone, with crusty bread, over pasta, or over rice (for gluten-free version).