Friday, February 22, 2008

Spicy Garlic Shrimp Scampi, a la' Marina del Rey

I entered a recipe contest once. It was back in the early 1990's. Marina del Rey, CA was holding a food festival (the first and only) and had a contest asking for recipes that encapsulate the Marina lifestyle. There may have been categories, I don't even remember. I do remember that I had been toying with a simple shrimp scampi dish at home and decided that I could fiddle with it and make it into an entree by serving it over pasta.

I won first prize for my Spicy Shrimp Scampi dish which the contest organizers renamed as: "Festival Shrimp Scampi". It was published in the free local paper and I believe I won two or three dinners for two at local restaurants. I've never entered another such contest. I figured I'd quit while I'm ahead.

The shrimp in this dish, made without the cheese, pasta or breadcrumbs, but all the spices, makes a fabulously simple first course or party appetizer. The trick to make succulent and juicy shrimp instead of dried out and rubberized seafood lies in not overcooking them. While tossing them in the hot pan, be ready to take the pan off the heat as soon as the last few shrimp are turning from grey to pink. They will finish cooking if you let them rest after seasoning them one last time and squeezing a little lemon juice over them. Lovely.

Festival Shrimp Scampi

1 lb medium size Shrimp (I used peeled, some may preferred unpeeled)

3 T butter
3 T olive oil (best quality you have)
3 cloves garlic, minced (more if preferred :)
1/2t ground white pepper
1/2t red pepper flakes
1/4t Cayenne pepper
1/4t dried oregano (or 1/2 t fresh minced)
1/2 lemon - juice of
1/2C Parmesan cheese
5 T Italian bread crumbs (or bread crumbs with a little salt, pepper,
oregano and basil added).
1/4C parsley - minced
salt - to taste
1 lb cooked fettuccine or linguine

Melt butter with the olive oil in a saute pan that is large enough to hold the shrimp in a thin

When mixture is hot, add the garlic. Toss about and don't let it burn. While it cooks, add the white pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano and Cayenne pepper, stir well. When garlic looks cooked but not brown (2 minutes), add the shrimp. Toss the shrimp about in the pan, coating with the spiced oil. Add the lemon juice and keep tossing over the heat. Quickly add the parsley, bread crumbs and Parmesan. Toss to coat completely. The shrimp should now be bright
pink and cooked through.

Place the pan under the broiler until cheese looks melted and the smell infuses your kitchen (1-2 minutes). Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (will probably need a bit of salt).

Serve over the cooked pasta, with additional Parmesan sprinkled over the top.



Audrey said...

I am a shrimp lover. This looks delicious. I'm not surprised it won. Wow!!

Dorothy H. said...

This is my husband's favorite recipe. I had bookmarked it and lost my printed copy and when I went to my original link, it wasn't working - I panicked! I was so glad to find it on your blog.

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