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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Shrimp Scampi with Garlic Toasts

Oh, I'm trying very hard to keep everyone in recipes, but cooking, never mind blogging, is getting harder and harder as this pregnancy careens towards the little one's arrival.  But if you like shrimp, this recipe is for you.  It comes from the Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine and it couldn't be easier.  Or more delicious.

Shrimp Scampi with Garlic Toasts

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp unsalted butter
5 cloves garlic, chopped
Kosher salt
8 1/2-inch-thick slices crusty bread
1 1/4 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact
3/4 cup dry white wine or low-sodium chicken broth
Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon, plus lemon wedges for serving
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives

1.  Preheat the broiler.  Heat the olive oil and 2 tbsp butter in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and 2/3 tsp salt and cook 1 to 2 minutes; remove from heat.  Brush both sides of bread with some of the garlic mixture and arrange on a baking sheet.  Broil the bread until toasted, about 1 minute per side.   Divide the bread among 4 bowls.

2.  Place the skillet with the remaining garlic mixture over high heat.  Add the shrimp and toss to coat, then stir in the wine and lemon zest and juice.  Transfer to the broiler and cook until the shrimp are pink, about 3 minutes.  Transfer the shrimp with a slotted spoon to the bowls.

3.  Return the skillet to high heat and boil the cooking liquid until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.  Stir in the parsley and chives.  Whisk in the remaining 1 tbsp butter and simmer 1 to 2 minutes more; pour over shrimp.  Serve with lemon wedges.

The Verdict:  Garlic and lemon shrimp over crispy bread?  Do you need me to say more?  It's amazing.  I want it every day.

If you regularly read my blog, you know about my son's current aversion to green stuff.  I avoided this by putting the thickened sauce without the herbs and butter, over his shrimp.  Too bad that didn't work.  The boy who generally gobbles down seafood like it's cake refused it.  Ate some bread, but wouldn't touch the shrimp.  It might be worth it to add that my kiddo is also on the longest nap strike ever.  I'd chalk it up to him just not needing it anymore, but a five minute visit to my house at 5 p.m. would convince you otherwise.  So he's not my best food critic at the moment.

My husband and I, on the other hand, fell hopelessly in love with this dish. 

One thing to keep in mind if you make it: you've got to work fast.  Read the recipe a bunch of times before you make it.  It's not hard, but it's busy.  If you start your shrimp while making the garlic toast, you run the risk of burning it.  The skillet goes from stovetop to broiler to stovetop, tempting you to forget where it's been and burning the heck out of your hands.  If you're chopping herbs while reducing your sauce, you run the risk of over-reducing it.  So be methodical and alert.

The magazine suggests shrimp that's been peeled and deveined but not had their tails removed.  My husband hates the sight of shrimp tails and I fear my son would eat them, so I always remove the tails regardless of what a recipe calls for.  I generally buy my seafood at Whole Foods, but was in a rush and picked up a bag of frozen shrimp from Target, their own brand.  Just as an FYI, they sell shrimp that's been cleaned and shelled.  Yay!  What a treat for this mommy!  And they weren't pumped up with water so that when you cook them they shrink to minuscule proportions.  They remained plump.  One point for Target.

I would definitely serve this with a salad.  Unless it's just pregnancy hunger, shrimp and toast wasn't quite enough for dinner.  You might want to have a little something to back it up.  Otherwise, it's a terrific meal.

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