This post was written by my foodie sister Robin, who is now sharing all of her favorite recipes and kitchen tips regularly on the new “Make It and Love It – in the KITCHEN” portion of this blog. Try a few of her recipes…your belly will thank you! -Ashley
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Hey guys…..it’s Robin again!
When I was in college, I worked at a steak restaurant. I needed something full time in the summer to save money for the upcoming fall and winter semesters. They hired me on at first, just as some extra help in the kitchen — but after about a month, I pretty much took over. The owner prepared breakfast and then I came in and took care of lunch and dinner. Those were some crazy days and very hectic meal times, trying to get orders out right and left, while also trying to make them delicious and keep the customers coming back for more! This dish was one of my favorites to make, since it was quick and easy to make but also very flavorful and delicious.
Don’t let the simplicity of this recipe fool you though — because if cooked right, this creamy sauce will impress taste buds, every single time.
The scampi is the perfect balance of creaminess with a slight tang of lemon and buttery garlic, combined with a very subtle sweetness……..poured on top of perfectly butter sauteed shrimp. Let me tell you……mmmm, just talking about it makes my mouth water. This was a customer favorite at the restaurant, that hit the spot every time. I have even had picky eaters ask for seconds, so you know this is going to be good. (Or if you really don’t like shrimp, use chicken instead….also very yummy!)
This really does make a great dinner that will surely impress!
Ready to give it a try??
First, gather your ingredients…
From looking at the ingredient list, you might be asking, “What is slurry and what is roux?” Here it is: slurry is equal parts cornstarch to water. Roux is equal parts wheat flour (all-purpose flour) to fat or oil. I like to throw my slurry into a small jar so that I can put the lid on and just shake. For the roux, I normally used melted or clarified butter. Make these up first so that they are ready to go when you need it.
In this picture, I mixed together 4 tablespoons of water and 4TBS of cornstarch so you can get an idea of what it looks like (and I always save it ans use it when needed). But for this this recipe you don’t need that much. So, just mix up 1 TBS water and 1 TBS cornstarch which will make more than 1 TBS of slurry but then you’ll have a bit on reserve in case you want a little bit more to make your sauce thicker. If you prefer making a roux, use the same proportions.
The secret ingredient to this is the wine or white grape juice. In the restaurant, we used white cooking wine, but white grape juice is just as good. If you come to my house, I usually have an opened can of frozen concentrate and use it whenever I am sauteing my food. It lasts me a good three to four months.
If you decide to go the grape juice route, you will want to mix it up ahead of time. So to make 1/2 cup of juice, put 2 tablespoons of the concentrate in a measuring cup and then add enough water (about 1/3 cup) to fill it to 1/2 cup. Dissolve the concentrate in the water by mixing it well. Set it aside and nearby when sauteing the shrimp.
Okay, let’s get those shrimp ready to be cooked. In case you missed my post a couple weeks ago about Cleaning and Preparing Shrimp, go and check it out. Because you need to prepare your shrimp so that there are no shells or tails. (Or if you really don’t like shrimp…..you can always use chicken in this recipe. Works just as well!)
Some people (or even restaurants) leave the bottom flipper tail on, but I like to make it easy on those who will be eating this and take them completely off. But…it’s up to you!
Now, heat up a sautee pan on medium high heat and melt the 1 TBS of butter. When it’s all melted, add in the shrimp and sprinkle ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp garlic powder, and pepper. (You will use the remaining garlic and salt when mixing up the sauce.) After the first side is done (when you see it turning red/pink), turn the shrimp over and pour your lemon juice on the shrimp.
Finish cooking the other side (watch closely, this happens quickly) and then pull them out of the pan and set aside. You may have to cook the shrimp in 2 batches since you don’t want to over crowd your pan. If you do, just divide the salt, garlic powder, pepper, and lemon juice into however many batches of shrimp you will prepare.
Now, de-glaze your pan with the grape juice. De-glazing just means you are bringing up all the yummy cooked bits left on the pan to the surface using a liquid and a little heat. So DON’T get rid of the pan drippings!
Add the 2 1/2 cups of cream, the remaining 1 tsp of garlic powder and 1/2 tsp of salt. Stir together and let it cook on medium low heat, just to a light boil.
Add the 1 TBS slurry or roux and stir well to make sure it doesn’t stick and burn to the bottom of the pan. This sauce will start to thicken. (if you want it a little bit thicker, just add a little bit more roux or slurry).
Once it is thickened to your desired consistency, add the shrimp and let cook together slowly for 1 minute.
Take off of heat and pour over cooked noodles.
Before serving you can take some scissors and cut up the shrimp into smaller pieces just so that the shrimp meat can be distributed further, giving a good balance of meat to sauce to noodles. Your taste buds will just love this for sure.
Shrimp Scampi – Recipe Card
Melt butter in a sautee pan on med high heat. Place shrimp in pan with butter and sprinkle ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp butter. Turn the shrimp over when you see it turning red/pink. Pour juice of lemon on the shrimp. Finish cooking. Pull out the shrimp and set it aside. Use the white grape juice or cooking wine to de-glaze the pan. Add cream, the remaining garlic powder and salt and mix well. Turn down the heat to low. When it first begins to slightly boil, add slurry or roux and mix well. Continue to cook til it thickens to desired consistency. Add shrimp, including the juices, back into pan to let the flavors meld together. Pour sauce over cooked noodles and serve. Makes 4-6 servings.