Shrimp Scampi

I’ve never had this. I have heard of it, it’s basically the stuff of legends. I thought it was really difficult. It actually is not. I’m finding that about a lot of foods – because they are so good and so classic, they seem like they should be very difficult to make. They often take time and attention, but difficult in execution? Not really.

If you can boil water and tell when shrimp is done, this is a simple recipe. Do thaw your shrimp before you start this recipe, though. I did not and got quite a lot more sauce than I had intended. 🙂

This is also quite a fast recipe to make, which is amazing for a weeknight. Despite my skipping the step of thawing the shrimp, they can actually be thawed in a collandar under cold water in minutes – long before the sauce is ready for them.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of shrimp (if you are using shrimp that has shells and veins – shell & devein them) I used half a bag of frozen shrimp from, you guessed it, Costco
  • 3 TB unsalted butter
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced – I haven’t tried this, but you can bet I will next time – roasted garlic for a bit mellower flavour – or perhaps half fresh and half roasted
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon worth of lemon juice, however you want to get it – fresh or bottled – I won’t judge
  • some lemon zest if you can’t get enough lemon

If you are having pasta with this, get your water on the stove and boiling before you even start cooking the sauce. This comes together quickly and it’s better the pasta waits than the shrimp.

Heat up a pan large enough to hold all your shrimp. I used an 8” cast iron frying pan – yes, I use the two I have a lot, but they heat up and hold the heat well on an old, crappy electric stove. I live for the day when I have a gas cook top. I dream of one every time I cook. I fantasize about them every time I want to can some meat or fruit or jam and realize that my stove is so crappy it can’t hold the weight of the canner and I can’t get a canning burner for it because the “Universal Fit” one that has the contacts I need for my stove – doesn’t actually work in my stove for some unknow reason. I was absolutely crushed the day I found that out. Anyway, I digress.

Melt the butter with the olive oil (the olive oil has a higher smoke point than the butter and the two together make amazing flavour and keep the butter from browning) – medium heat is plenty high enough. Add the chicken broth and garlic – vegetable broth would also work, beef I think would be too strong a flavour to make the shrimp happy. You can use white wine, not sweet, instead of broth, I just never have any in the house, so I rarely cook with it.

Simmer this little mixture together until it’s reduced to about half of what you started with. Concentrate that flavour!

Add the shrimp. At this point, your pasta, if you’re having it, should be about done.

Cook the shrimp until it’s pink and curled, add the lemon and lemon zest if you’re using it. Add your salt & pepper and give it a taste. If it needs the kick, add a tiny pinch of chili flakes.

Drain your pasta and add the shrimp to it. If you aren’t using pasta, plate your shrimp and sauce and load on the crusty bread or thick garlic bread – you want something that can soak up that sauce and not fall apart.

Add some Parmesan cheese if you feel the need to. I found there was plenty of beautiful flavour without.

If your pasta is done before the shrimp, add a little olive oil to it after you’ve drained it and give it a mix….it will keep it from sticking together in the pasta lump we all love.

The shrimp and sauce are low carb or keto. If you use a keto friendly pasta or zucchini noodles it still would be. If you use a keto bread or cloud bread, perhaps, it still could be. Add it over a salad and make a shrimp scampi “bowl” and you’re still low carb, just use the sauce as your dressing.

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