I’m often asked why I write this blog. The short answer is that it’s a labor of love―I write for the same reason I cook—to connect with others and nurture. I experience the act of cooking as both creative and contemplative. We participate in a CSA―which means each week we pick up freshly farmed vegetables from an organic farm nearby. Garlic, onions, kale, fresh herbs and more―these ingredients challenge me to think about how to use them in such a way that is new. The contemplation is listening to the sounds and smells of the ingredients as they simmer for a sauce or provide crunch to a salad, constantly modifying and tweaking things until a meal is created. Most often I am cooking just for my family, which is gratifying, but it’s also fun to share what I’ve done with others in my community (locally and online) to connect and perhaps even provide a bit of inspiration. I’m aware that for some people cooking is a chore. I’d like to plant the seed that it can be a bit more, if you let it. So, I cook new recipes and make variations on some of the classics. I photograph the dishes I make, write about them, and put it all out there in the hopes of nurturing and tempting you . Few things please me more than your comments on this blog. Or running into you at the grocery store to learn you tried something I made. This labor of love is as rich and rewarding.
This dish of Simple Shrimp Scampi is a classic that I made my own by adding a bit of tarragon and chives at the end. Sweet butter is melted and combined with rich olive oil. A bit of red pepper flakes and minced garlic added to the mix creates heat that wraps around the fresh shrimp while they cook. Some freshly squeezed lemon juice and white wine, poured on toward the end, give the sauce a complexity. The dish is finished with the fresh flavors of tarragon and snipped chives. The scampi can be eaten on its own or with a loaf of bread to dip into the buttery mixtures left at the bottom of the pan or your serving bowl. Try it. You’ll love it.
I look forward to seeing you in my kitchen, gathering flavors, soon.
Simple Shrimp Scampi
Yield: 6 to 8 Servings
- 1 stick, 4 ounces, unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 pounds shrimp, peeled, deveined and rinsed
- ¼ cup white wine
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ lemon, rinsed and sliced into thin rounds
- Sea salt, to taste
- Handful each fresh tarragon leaves and chives
- Baguette or multigrain loaf, for serving (optional)
- Heat a ten-inch skillet, preferably cast iron, on the stove top. Add the butter and melt. Add the olive oil and heat through until bubbly.
- Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan. Stir until fragrant, and coat with the butter and oil, about 1 minute. Add the shrimp and stir to coat with the items in the pan. Continue to stir until the shrimp is cooked through. They should be pink on the outside and white inside.
- Add the wine and lemon juice to the pan. Bring to a boil and add the sea salt. Stir.
- Remove from the heat.
- Top the scampi with the lemon slices and herbs.
- Serve hot accompanied by a crispy loaf of bread. Enjoy.
The scampi can be served as a topping to cooked pasta, about 1 pound, or over a steamed grain such as brown rice or couscous. It also goes well with Cheesy Baked Polenta.