Historians differ on the origins of the dish, but shrimp scampi is so delicious that it has its own day of commemoration. Mark your calendars now - April 29 is National Shrimp Scampi Day!
What are "scampi," exactly? Shrimp Scampi is the delicious combination of plump shrimp, pungent garlic, aromatic white wine and tart lemon married together in a smooth, buttery sauce. Somewhat murky in origin, the dish seems to be a hybrid of Italian cooking techniques that were combined with American ingredients in the early part of the Twentieth Century. Today, it is frequently paired with pasta, most often linguine. However it developed, it is a delicious classic, and it deserves a new look.
We recommend making Shrimp Scampi outside - preferably on one of Little Griddle's stainless steel griddles (or on our ANYWARE™ ceramic cookware)! If you decide to griddle the scampi, try serving the shrimp on a crusty roll (or on grilled toast rubbed with a garlic clove) for an awesome sandwich.
If you prefer a pasta pairing, our skillet is the way to go because it will retain more of the sauce. Either way, this is a fantastic dish, and you will be really glad that you decided to celebrate National Shrimp Scampi Day!
To make Shrimp Scampi you will need:
- 2 lb shrimp, de-veined and thawed, if frozen
- 4 TB Butter*
- 2TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil*
- 2 TB fresh lemon juice
- 1 C. dry white wine* (any kind you would also drink with the dish).
- 4 Cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 tsp. chili flakes (optional)
- 1/2 C. finely chopped parsley
*If cooking in a skillet, this makes a generous amount of sauce. If cooking on a grill-top griddle, reduce quantities to 2 TB butter, 1 TB olive oil, 1/4 C. wine, as any sauce not absorbed by the ingredients will be lost to the grease well. Chicken or Shrimp broth may be substituted for the white wine.
To Prepare the dish indoors:
Season shrimp with salt and black pepper (if using). Add olive oil and butter to skillet. When butter has melted and begun to bubble, add shrimp and cook on both sides until they are no longer translucent. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chili flakes, if using. Add wine and lemon juice and maintain a high simmer until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
Return shrimp to pan to warm through, being careful not to overcook. Turn off heat, stir in parsley and serve immediately over linguine, bucatini or with crusty bread (and the rest of the wine!).
To Prepare the dish on the grill:
Season shrimp with salt and black pepper. Pre-heat griddle to medium heat for about a minute (350-400 degrees Fahrenheit). Add butter and olive oil to griddle. When butter has melted and is bubbling, add shrimp on both sides and cook until no longer translucent, about two minutes per side. Add garlic and crushed red pepper (if using) and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add wine and lemon juice and stir to coat shrimp. Cook for one more minute to all the wine to reduce slightly. Stir in parsley and serve immediately over crusty bread or toast. Because there will be less sauce, griddled scampi works better as a sandwich or shrimp toast than as a pasta dish.