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Sometimes the most traditional recipes are the best.
This doesn’t mean, however, that they can’t be tweaked to make them just a little bit more flavorful.
Take Shrimp Scampi for instance. Marinating the shrimp in lemon juice and garlic for about half an hour prior to cooking allows the delicate crustaceans to absorb more of the sparkly citrus flavor, which is then deepened and sweetened by sautéing the succulent morsels in unsalted butter, then cooking them slowly in a combination of the reserved marinade and white wine.
This isn’t a dish that needs lots of competing elements. The time-honored basics – garlic, butter, lemon juice and white wine – make for a main course with refreshing clarity of flavor and a rich sauce, simultaneously sweet and tart, tender yet toothsome, that’s perfect next to a mound of risotto or mashed potatoes, or atop linguine cooked al dente.
Another boon: The scampi is also relatively quick to prepare, meaning that a family can easily enjoy a weekend-style meal on a weeknight, and the cook can still find time to relax after work or school.
1-11⁄2 lbs. shrimp, peeled and deveined
Juice of one lemon
3-4 Tbl. unsalted butter
1 cup dry white wine
5 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Flat leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish
Marinate the shrimp in the lemon juice, with 1-2 coves worth of garlic, for half an hour in a non-reactive bowl (glass or stainless steel).
Melt the butter over medium heat in a large, preferably non-stick, frying pan.
When butter is melted, add the drained shrimp (reserve the marinade), cooking over medium-high heat 2-3 minutes until pink on both sides, flipping the shrimp as one side is cooked to allow the other side to cook. (You can flip one or a few at a time; they do not all need to be cooked on the first side before being turned.)
Once the shrimp is cooked, add the remaining garlic and sauté till softened but not burned, 2-3 minutes. Add wine and reserved marinade, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, for 10-15 minutes, till liquid is reduced to sauce consistency.
Remove shrimp to a waiting platter, pour pan juices over them, and garnish with lemon wedges and chopped parsley.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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