Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Shrimp Scampi - Quick and Easy, Great For Hot Summer Mealtime

We have gone from hot to sauna here in Nashville.  Yes, we had several weeks of triple digit days with not a drop of rain and it was like an oven outside.  Now, we have rain (and we are more than grateful for every drop) added to the heat and it is like a sauna every time you step out of doors.  Humidity, nothing like it.  You are dripping wet almost immediately.  Therefore, I stay in the air conditioned comfort of the indoors as much as possible.

Yesterday was just one of those miserable humid summer days and I did not want to spend much time over a stove.  So I did one of those "drive by" perusals of the pantry, the fridge and the freezer.  Do you ever do that?  Stand there with the door open, trying to figure out what to make for dinner?  Hmmm, frozen shrimp and there is always an assortment of pasta in the pantry.  Lightbulb comes on and it's going to be shrimp scampi for dinner.  Quick and super tasty.  All garlicky, buttery, lemony goodness in one pan and it only takes about 20 minutes to make.  Decision made.  Time to go to work.

Here is what you need.

1 pound shelled, deveined shrimp (I used frozen)
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
3-4 cloves whole garlic, peeled and minced
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp. butter
1/2 - 1 cup chicken stock in a box
juice of 2 whole lemons
basil leaves
8 ounces pasta (linguini, angel hair, spaghetti - I used tagliatelle)
grated fresh parmesan cheese, optional

Put water on to cook your pasta and salt generously.  (It takes time to come to a boil).  Cook pasta according to directions.  Drain when done.

While waiting for the water to boil, mince onion and garlic.  In a large saute pan,  add olive oil and butter, melting butter over medium heat (do not let it brown or burn).  Add onions and saute until they become translucent.  Throw in garlic, stirring so it doesn't burn.  Throw in Shrimp.  Cook until shrimp turns pink.  (Yes, you can throw it in still frozen)  Add juice of two whole lemons,  1/2 of the chicken stock, salt (if needed, I didn't add any) and pepper.  Add drained pasta to the sauce and stir until all the pasta is coated.  If you need more liquid, add the rest of the chicken stock.

Serve by adding torn basil leaves to the pasta and shrimp and grated fresh parmesan cheese if desired.

For pasta, I chose tagliatelle which is flat like linguini but a little wider and comes in little bird-nest like bunches.  It looks like this.
I used 10 "nests" and it made just the right amount of pasta for the sauce.  The super delicious lemony, garlicky, buttery sauce coating the pasta is so good.  Combined with the shrimp, it was an absolutely perfect dinner.  It's such a light sauce with that lemon undertone, mm, mmm, mmmm.
We enjoyed this entree with that lovely bruschetta I wrote about last night and it made a perfect summer meal.  The leftovers today were quite spectacular too.

Scampi is actually the Italian word for langoustine lobster which comes from the North Atlantic.  They are small lobster about the size of a crayfish and the tails are eaten with butter.  In Italian-American cuisine, scampi has come to be known as a way of preparation, rather than the name for a particular kind of lobster.  It is usually shrimp cooked in garlic sauce and served with pasta, therefore the name shrimp scampi.  So, next time you feel like you are melting in the summer heat and don't want anything hot or heavy to eat, try this shrimp scampi recipe.  It's divine.

Everyday donna

Things to Remember:

     I Like this quote 

“Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sautee it. There's, um, shrimp kebabs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried. There's pineapple shrimp and lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich... That's, that's about it.”  Bubba Blue from Forrest Gump

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