Monday, December 1, 2008


You've no doubt heard the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix." Grammar aside, there's a certain truth to the saying. A case in point: I have been making scampi the same way for over 25 years. My recipe is delicious served hot for dinner or warm to room temperature as part of a buffet. However, I have such faith in my new cookbook, Back to Basics by Ina Garten, that I decided to try a new recipe. The Barefoot Contessa is batting 1000 because her recipe was fantastic! Larry's comment was that you couldn't get something this delicious in a restaurant. He thought it took a lot of work, but frankly, aside from a bit of chopping, it assembled easily and, better yet, would be a wonderful dinner party dish since it CAN be assembled ahead of time and takes under 15 minutes to bake. I couldn't get the 12-15 count shrimp called for in the recipe, so made do with the 9-12 count. I served the scampi with my microwave risotto--if you haven't tried it yet, you're missing out on a great, simple dish--and roasted brussel sprouts and carrots. I got the recipe for the roasted sprouts in this same cookbook and just added diagonally sliced carrots. I scaled the recipe down for the 2 of us.

Serves 2

1 lb shrimp in the shell

1 1/2 tbs olive oil

1 tbs dry white wine

6 tbs unsalted butter, softened

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large shallot, chopped

2 tbs minced fresh parsley

1 tsp minced fresh rosemary

1 tsp grated lemon zest

1 tbs lemon juice

1 extra-large egg yolk

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

Kosher salt and pepper

lemon wedges, for serving

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

  • Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp (leave tails on)

  • Place shrimp in mixing bowl and toss with olive oil, wine, salt and pepper; allow to sit at room temperature while you prepare the butter mixture

  • In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the minced garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, salt and pepper until combined

  • Arrange the shrimp in a single layer in a gratin dish, cut side down and tails toward the center of the dish. Pour remaining marinade over the shrimp. Divide the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp

  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, until hot and bubbly; to brown the top, broil 1-3 minutes, watching carefully so as not to burn; garnish with lemon wedges

The only additon I would make to this dish is to add wonderful bread to sop up the butter mixture. I was unhappily out of bread, but will know better next time. I may serve the scampi over pasta next time.

Others have found this and other Contessa recipes to be the "bomb," too. Check out ).


  1. Shrimp is a favorite food of mine. Thank you for a wonderful recipe. Peg D

  2. I love Ina. I have a couple of her books and a whole bunch of recipes I've printed off the computer from her TV show. This shrimp scampi sounds mighty good. Good job my friend.

  3. Dude mayo is EVERYWHERE! My cousins showed me how they use it on the outside of grilled cheese sandwiches instead of butter!!

  4. I loved this recipe too! And it's so deceptive. It looks like you spent forever preparing but it's pretty quick and easy!

    I linked to your post:

  5. I made this last week for dinner. My boyfriend practically inhaled it!
    I wonder how could my husband not be totally crazy about this dish! Shrimp, butter, garlic, lemon ...... Perfection! I like Ina too.


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