Sunday, February 12, 2012

Shrimp Scampi

While I'm all about shopping frugally, making the most of the co-op, perusing grocery store circulars, and reading couponing blogs (yes, really), some days just call for a little bit of a splurge in the food department.  And while I enjoy eating out at nice restaurants as much as anyone, sometimes it's more fun to stay in, light some candles, pour some wine, and cook up a delicious dinner with your beloved.

I can get a little mushy here.  It's almost Valentine's Day, after all.

Anyway, one of my favorite little splurges is shrimp.  Shrimp was my favorite seafood even before my husband helped me to discover that not all fish is gross, and it probably still is at the top of my list.  Sadly, the frozen bags carried by Walmart do not even begin to compare with the beautiful specimens on which we feasted while on vicarage in Texas.  There are benefits to living near the ocean, y'all.  But I love shrimp too much to give it up altogether.  I suppose you can still get quality shrimp from a good meat market, but I'm still too cheap for that.  In a dish like shrimp scampi, you can't really go wrong anyway, even if you have to settle for farm-raised white shrimp.

This is my in-laws' recipe.  They traditionally serve scampi with steak for "family Christmas," before real Christmas when they eat chili and oyster stew.  (You can probably guess which meal is my favorite.)  I like to make it for Valentine's Day, birthdays, National Shrimp Scampi Day (April 29), National Shrimp Day (May 10), National Garlic Day (April 19), National Seafood Month (October), and... um... any other fake holidays that have anything to do with shrimpy deliciousness.  If you don't have a source for good fresh shrimp, I think Aldi has the best prices on frozen raw shrimp (usually under $5 per pound).  Target frequently has sales as well, and I can sometimes use an in-store coupon to get peeled shrimp for under $5 there.

You'll want to eat the scampi right after preparing it, so it's nice and hot.  Serve it with a salad or something that can be prepared ahead of time.  And while you're in the splurging mood, finish off your romantic dinner with a delicious homemade mudslide.  Mmmmm.

Shrimp Scampi
Serves 2-3
Time:  15 minutes, plus 2 hours to marinate (plus 15-30 minutes for cleaning shrimp)

3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. green onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 T. fresh parsley, minced
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 lb. raw large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and rinsed
hot cooked rice (I use about 1/2 cup uncooked rice per person)

Combine first seven ingredients; pour over shrimp.  Cover; marinate in refrigerator for about 2 hours.  Lay shrimp in single layer on broiler pan.  Broil about 3 minutes on each side (the second side may only take 1-2 minutes).  Transfer to serving dish (don't forget to scrape all the herbs and oil from the pan over the shrimp).  Serve over rice.

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