Thursday, June 24, 2010

Shrimp Scampi, an Easy Make-Ahead Meal to Freeze and Heat

This dish goes together quickly; the greatest effort is in cleaning the shrimp. While it is heating, quickly boil the angelhair pasta, drain, and combine with the shrimp and the delicious broth to make a mouthwatering dinner for the special people in your life.

There are times when it is just not acceptable to take shortcuts: freshly squeezed lemon juice instead of the squeeze bottle, freshly minced garlic rather than the jarred, leafy green parsley instead of dried, and wild-caught shrimp in the shell. Don't compromise ingredients in this dish. As a matter of fact, don't ever use the squeeze bottle lemon juice or jarred minced garlic for anything!

I have reduced the amount of fat traditionally used in this dish and added more flavor by using shrimp stock, made from the shrimp shells. I know you will enjoy this change.

Shrimp Scampi with Angelhair Pasta

Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds large wild-caught shrimp, with shells on, frozen unless you have access to just off-the-boat shrimp
2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/4 cup white wine
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Salt & Pepper TT (to taste)

8 ounces angelhair pasta, cooked, drained

Peel shrimp, leaving the tails intact. Place shells in a small saucepan and just cover with water, about 2 cups. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Allow to steep while you prepare the rest of the ingredients, then strain and reserve shrimp stock.

Remove the sand vein (a.k.a. shrimp poop) from shrimp by making a shallow incision down the length of the back to expose the vein. Scrape it out with the tip of your paring knife.

Combine olive oil, garlic, and hot pepper flakes in a cold saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and add butter. Stir occasionally until butter is melted, then add shrimp and cook, turning frequently, just until shrimp is opaque and pink-rimmed. Remove the shrimp from pan, but leave the garlic-butter-oil mixture in the pan.

Increase heat, and add lemon juice, zest, and white wine to skillet. When hot and bubbling, add 1/2 or more of the the shrimp stock. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Combine the shrimp and pasta in the skillet with the stock. Toss in chopped parsley, grate pepper over, and turn, using tongs, until pasta is coated with stock and shrimp are distributed. Remove from heat and serve.

Nutrition per serving: 483 Calories; 15g Fat (28.2% calories from fat); 36g Protein

To freeze for later use: Prepare shrimp as instructed. Cool quickly by placing in a stainless steel bowl and then setting that in a larger bowl of ice water. Spoon shrimp and its stock into a container, seal, label, and freeze. When ready to prepare and while pasta is cooking, defrost and heat the shrimp mixture in the microwave at 50% power just until hot. (Don't overdoDrain the pasta, return it to the pot and add the shrimp mixture. Toss with tongs until shrimp and pasta are combined. Serve.

Note: To thaw frozen shrimp from the market, place in a bowl in the sink. Fill the bowl with cold water and place it under trickling cold tap water. The shrimp will thaw in just a few minutes this way and will remain cold and safe from bacteria growth. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Refrigerate if not using immediately. Never thaw shrimp in the microwave or by leaving it lying out on the counter. Never purchase previously frozen, thawed shrimp from the market showcase. Request frozen shrimp and have the attendant wrap it tightly with ice so it will remain frozen till you get it home.

No comments: