Shrimp scampi is a really popular dish, which means it has more variations than you can shake a bamboo skewer at. About the only thing that’s in pretty much all the recipes I’ve checked out is butter and garlic. And really, how can you go wrong when you start there?
Interesting note: “Scampi” is actually a type of lobster. The preparation I’m showing here was a popular way of making it, so in the U.S. we now use the word “scampi” to refer to the style more often than the ingredient.
This recipe started in the garden. I’ve got herbs coming in like crazy, so I’m looking for all kinds of ways to use them. (Suggestions welcome down in the comments.)
For the scampi, I did chives, basil, oregano and sage.
I didn’t show the oregano and sage when I did the first harvest. They hadn’t started producing much yet.
For the oregano, remove the leaves from the stems. Don’t worry too much about the stems, they’re very thin.
The sage, though, has thick stems. Fold each leaf in half and pull the stem off. You should be able to remove most of the stem from the leaf.
Same trick with the basil, which has an even thicker stem.
One basil leaf was enough. Any more and that’s all we’d have tasted. Fresh basil is pungent stuff.
Set all the herbs aside, then toss your garlic and some black pepper in the food processor.
How much garlic to use is a very personal decision. I used two normal sized cloves and one freakishly large mutant clove. The trick with garlic is to make sure your date eats the same thing as you do.
Two quick pulses on the Ninja and it’s done.
Add the herbs and another quick pulse.
A little olive oil just to hold everything together, and set it aside.
I might make another batch of this and keep it in the fridge, ready to add to other recipes. It came out really excellent.
Peel and de-vein the shrimp.
Sorry, no pictures of that process. It’s a bit messy, and I didn’t want to get raw shrimp all over the camera. Next time I do shrimp, I’ll have Jenn take the pictures.
Arrange the shrimp into groups of five or six, and connect them with two bamboo skewers for each set.
Assembly and cooking
Melt the butter (microwave is fine) and mix in the herbs. Mince the chives and add them last so they keep their shape.
Scoop the mixture liberally over the shrimp.
Place herbed side down on a hot skillet.
Yes, that’s a strange looking skillet. Or rather, it’s a Himalayan salt block.
While the first side is cooking, spoon more of the herb / butter mixture on top. When the edges of the shrimp start to turn pink, flip them over.
Go another couple of minutes until there is no more gray in the middle.
Serve with the remaining butter for dipping.
And that’s it.
Want more like this? For more recipes like this, that you can hold right in your hands, and write on, take notes, tear pages out if you want (Gosh, you're tough on books, aren't you?) you might be interested in How To Cook Like Your Grandmother, 2nd edition, Illustrated. Or to learn your way around the kitchen, check out Starting From Scratch: The Owner's Manual for Your Kitchen.