In Season/On Special: Shrimp (sorta) Scampi

You’ve really got to hand it to Safeway; they run some awesome specials!

This week (2/22 – 2/28), you can buy wild caught Extra Jumbo raw Gulf shrimp for $9.99/pound, which is $6.00/pound off their usual price.

What to do with the shrimp?  At these prices, why not make a shrimp scampi.  I’ve got a recipe for you that’s one of my family’s all time favorites – and you can throw it together in under 20 minutes.

In Europe, the term “scampi” refers to Langoustines or Norway lobsters.  These are roughly the size of a large crayfish and fished from silty bottom regions of the open Atlantic Ocean, and parts of the Mediterranean. The fleshy tail of the Norway lobster is closer in both taste and texture to lobster and crayfish rather than prawn or shrimp.  In the US, the term “scampi” is often the menu name for shrimp in Italian-American cuisine and/or refers to a preparation of shrimp (or chicken) baked in garlic butter and dry white wine, served either with bread, or over pasta or rice.

This week’s recipe is a cross between a traditional shrimp scampi and one of Mark Bittman’s  (New York Times food columnist extraordinaire) classic recipes called “Shrimp, My Way”.   The key here is not to overcook the shrimp.  Remember that even after you pull the shrimp out from under the broiler they will continue to cook for a few minutes, so watch them carefully and take them out just at the point where they’ve turned pink all over.

Since I’m giving you one of our favorite recipes, I’ll also recommend our favorite wine to pair with this dish.  Do yourself a favor and go with a dry Rose – the combination of garlic, smoky paprika and shellfish with a fruity yet dry rosé is spectacular.  There are some very nice domestic rosés out there (I especially like Coppolla’s “Sofia” rosé; for the beautiful bottle almost as much as the wine itself).   However, in general, you’re going to pay much more for a domestic than you would for a comparable (and usually better) French, Spanish or even Austrian rosé.  It’s really hard to beat them.  Here’s a nice one to try: the fruity, yet slightly acidic  Domaine de Mairan Aurore Boreale Rosé 2010 ($11/bottle – such a deal 😉

Shrimp Scampi – esque (serves 4)


16 jumbo raw shrimp in shells

1/2 c. olive oil

2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

2 green onions (with tops), thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 c. dry white wine

3 tbsp. lemon juice

1  1/2 tsp. smoky paprika

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper


Peel shrimp. Make shallow cut lengthwise down back of each shrimp and wash out vein.   Meanwhile,  preheat the broiler and adjust the rack so that is as close to the heat source as possible.

Very gently, in a large, broad oven-proof skillet or baking pan, warm the olive oil over low heat. There should be enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan; don’t skimp. Put the garlic in the oil and cook for a few minutes, still over low heat, until it turns golden.

Raise the heat to medium-high and add the shrimp, wine, salt, pepper, and paprika. Stir to blend and immediately place under broiler. Cook, shaking the pan once or twice and stirring if necessary, but generally leaving the shrimp undisturbed, until they are pink all over and the mixture is bubbly. This will take from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the heat of the broiler.  Garnish with green onions and parsley and serve immediately.  I like to serve this over polenta; any grain or pasta would work well here.

This entry was posted in Dare Wenzler, Inexpensive Wine, Rosé Wine and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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