For those of you who don’t know, and I didn’t until today, Scampi is the plural of scampo. It is the Italian translation of a small, almost miniature sized, European lobster such as Dublin Bay Prawn or Norway Lobster. It is also a term or style of how the shellfish is prepared.
The only reason I bring this up is, that for most of my life I thought Scampi literally translated as shrimp, and always wondered why one would list Shrimp Scampi on a menu when scampi seemed to be sufficient. In my mind it was like saying “Shrimp Shrimp” which I thought was idiotic, but I confess it was my mistake.
Anyway, Shrimp Scampi is one of the easiest of dishes to prepare, especially if you buy the already peeled and deveined shrimp. You’ll want to have your side dishes ready because the shrimp is ready in no time. The recipe below is for two but can easily be doubled or tripled.
½ to ¾ pounds of large shrimp peeled and deveined (16-25 count)*
¼ cup of olive oil
¼ cup of butter
3 minced garlic cloves
3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Salt to taste
*Count determines how many shrimp come in a pound. In this case 16 to 25 come to a pound.
Pour the olive oil into a large frying pan; add the butter and heat over a medium temperature. Just as the butter is melted add the garlic and stir for one minute taking care that it doesn’t burn. Add the shrimp and lemon juice and cook long enough for the shrimp to turn pink, maybe five minutes. At the last minute add the parsley.
I like to serve this with rice (but it’s also great with angel hair pasta). If you’d like to make a really pretty presentation, put the rice into ramekins to shape it. Then invert the rice onto a plate and arrange the shrimp over the rice; pour the sauce over the shrimp. A nice finishing touch would be a thin, thin slice of lemon. Serve with a green salad, a crusty bread and maybe Key Lime Pie for dessert.