I often feel redundant in saying things like: "this is the best"!! but, THIS IS. There was a time when my husband and I traveled to California to visit family. My brother in law owned a great restaurant in downtown Palo Alto called Lavanda Restaurant & Wine Bar. One night we were treated to a feast which consisted of so many great foods and flavors but, the one dish that stood out to both my husband and I was the Scampi. This was true Scampo/Scampi that was flown in for the occasion. Such a treat that I never knew existed!! True Scampi is very similar to lobster in taste (sweet & succulent!) The ones my brother in law had flown in that night were from the silty bottom of the Mediterranean and so incredible! Nowadays Americans think of "Scampi" by itself as a dish of shrimp, served in garlic butter and dry white wine. The word "scampi" is often misconstrued as that style of preparation rather than an ingredient. Still, we always wanted a recipe that brought back that memory. I was watching the Food Network one day and watched Ina Garten make her 'Baked Shrimp Scampi' and decided it was something we needed to try. It truly is an 'easy to assemble' recipe. The shelling of the shrimp, de-veining and butterflying was the most time consuming of the entire preparation. Being a "canner" i must note that you should save your shrimp shells to make shrimp stock but, that's another recipe in itself. Ina did remark to leave the 'tails-on' the shrimp and after assembling the dish for the oven, I see why. You need the tails on as they help to hold the tails in the air so you can spread the butter/breadcrumb mixture around the butterfly part of the shrimp easily. It's ok if you don't leave the tails on (but, you will be spending a bit more time in assembling the dish.) I admit that I giggled a bit as I kept flashing back to the movie "Beetlejuice" when preparing this for the oven!! Best part is, the taste and mix of succulent flavors push pass the silly movie reference and put this dish over the edge into the "oh my god this is SO good" stratosphere!!!!!! Give her recipe a try - you won't be sorry! ~Enjoy! Diane
Baked Shrimp Scampi
2 pounds (12 to 15 per pound) shrimp in the shell
3 tablespoons good olive oil
2 tablespoons dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
1/4 cup minced shallots
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 extra-large egg yolk
2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
Lemon wedges, for serving
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture.
In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until combined.
Starting from the outer edge of a 14-inch oval gratin dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer cut side down with the tails curling up and towards the center of the dish. Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1 minute. Serve with lemon wedges.
Recipe by: Ina Garten "Baked Shrimp Scampi"
Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home