Comfort Food

Comfort Food

Shrimp Scampi with a Secret Ingredient!

My husband and I owned an Italian restaurant 30 years ago and I'm still stopped in the grocery story ... by friends who want the recipes we used.  That's been so long ago ... and I cooked from scratch and trained a couple good chefs ... so I don't remember all of those recipes. There are two, however, that I'll never forget because we made boatloads of Fettuccini Alfredo ... and Shrimp Scampi!

My secret ingredient in the shrimp scampi is celery seed ... you probably won't find that in your recipe!

Lots of things have changed in 30 years!  We had a supplier that drove fresh shrimp and oysters from the Gulf Shores ... into Southern Illinois once a week. So, we served seafood ... just a couple nights, while it was fresh.  No frozen seafood in my restaurant!  I always used 16 count shrimp ... and people loved it.
I used to make my own lemon infused olive oil ... couldn't buy it back then.  I'd peel the zest from the lemon in long strips and drop it in my olive oil.  After a couple weeks, the lemon flavor is fantastic!  Fresh herbs were hard to come by 30 years ago, too ... so I'd grow my own.  I constantly ran out of basil!

Scampi is an easy thing to prepare.  Peel, devein and wash your shrimp.  Pat it dry with a paper towel.  Sprinkle it with your favorite Italian herbs.  I use roasted garlic paste, dry thyme, chopped fresh basil, chopped fresh Rosemary ... and a sprinkle of celery seed and another sprinkle of red pepper flakes.  Pat the spices/herbs into the shrimp.  You can put this on both sides, but chances are ... you'll lose one side of the spices because they will fall off.

For 10 - 12 big shrimp, I slowly melt 2 Tablespoons of butter.  After the butter has melted, add a Tablespoon of lemon infused olive oil and turn the heat up to high. Add the shrimp ... the seasoned side down and let them sizzle.  Turn them over when you see that the shrimp is cooking about half way up the flesh.  You'll see it turn colors and firm up.  Turn the shrimp over ... turn off the burner and move the pan to a cold burner.  It will be hot enough to finish cooking your shrimp without getting it over-done.

Drizzle fresh lemon juice over the shrimp while they are still in the pan ... let the juice sizzle in the hot oil/butter.   Serve the shrimp over your favorite pasta ... and I always pour the pan juices right over the shrimp.  We like ours served with grated Parmesan ... the dry kind!

Shrimp Scampi is easy ... fast food!  If you use fresh pasta that cooks in a couple minutes ... you have a meal in less than ten minutes!

I'll share this recipe with some of the following parties ... Make sure you click through to see the other entries.  First ... check out my home page to see all my other posts!

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