Shrimp Scampi with Pasta

Posted on 04/01/2010. Filed under: Dinner, Seafood |

So sorry for the delay, y’all.  Life just got the better of me.  Last week, I went to another funeral service (the grandfather of a friend of mine), and then entertained a friend who was passing through Richmond on his way from New York to Florida.  And yeah, I can be a slacker.  I made General Tso’s chicken on Sunday the 28th, but it was just blah.  Wasn’t very Tso-y, no heat, just blah.  The good thing that came out of the Tso’s was my first trip to Tan-A Supermarket on Broad & Horsepen in Richmond.  I HIGHLY recommend checking out local Asian markets and here’s why: a TON of stuff for CHEAP.  Seriously, y’all, ALL the stuff below cost me $12.  No shit.

From left: Sesame oil, Sriracha hot chili sauce, Hoisin sauce, rice vingegar, miso dressing. Front: fresh ginger

Many thanks to my friend Frank on what ingredients to get.  I was frantically texting him after I’d been to Tan-A, asking the difference between rice vinegar, rice wine, and rice wine vinegar as the recipe I’d picked called for “rice wine vinegar.”  Guess what kids?  Just go for the rice vinegar because you ain’t gonna find “rice wine vinegar.”   And if you live in Richmond and haven’t been to Tan-A, GO!  And bring cash or check, no plastic. 

So I made the General Tso’s and it just was a plate of blah.  Meh.  Mediocre.  Big plate of hum-drum.  Almost as anti-climatic as the last episode of Seinfeld.  Without the cameo appearances of everyone the gang had screwed over. 

Tonight, instead of writing about Crap Tso’s, I’m writing about something I made on the fly.  Mom had been mentioning getting more seafood in our diets, which is tough to do in this economy.  We’re po’, yo.  Most of the seafood we eat is tuna fish and that’s canned and in “salad” form.  (In this house, it’s made with Duke’s, sweet relish, chopped hard-boiled egg & diced celery.  Anyone doesn’t like it that way can make their own damn tuna fish salad.  I’m just sayin’.)  And we both love shrimp scampi, so what the hell?

I poked around on the internets looking for a recipe, as I’m wont to do, and got a few ideas.  Basic recipe right?  Butter, garlic, dry white wine, lemon juice, shrimp, pasta.  So easy!  I didn’t even bother printing out a recipe, I just rolled with it, baby, like Steve Winwood (I gotcha singing that song now, didn’t I?  ‘Cause I’m eeee-ville like that.  Like the Dev-ille).  I went to Kroger and got a bag of frozen tiger shrimp, de-veined; bottled lemon juice; bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.  I had the butter and pasta at home.

I thawed the shrimp under cool running water in a colander and peeled them, reserving the shells to freeze for a shrimp stock for another attempt in the future at Shrimp & Grits.  See?

Shrimp, yo.

While I waited for the pot of salted water to boil, I minced…oh…I’d say about…four or five cloves of garlic.  I love garlic.  I love garlicky foods.  And it’s healthy.  I have no idea what garlic does for your body health-wise, but it does something.  When the water was at a rolling boil, I drizzled olive oil in the pot to keep it from boiling over.  Then I put a skillet on the stove and let a whole stick of butter melt.  I used salted because that’s what we have, but unsalted works fine too I’m sure.  When the butter was melted and bubbling a bit, I added the garlic.  I let the garlic cook a little on medium low heat until fragrant, then I added white wine and lemon juice.  No, I didn’t use fresh lemon because I just didn’t want to buy them.  I cheated.  Sue me.

I then added a couple of pinches of crushed red pepper to the sauce for some heat and lemme tell you…this butter/wine/garlic/lemon sauce smelled incredible.  It reminded me of the cheese course at the Melting Pot, the cheese with the dry white wine…just heavenly.  I love the smell of good wine cooking.  I don’t know what it is, but I just love it.  Weird, I know.  I added some spaghetti to the boiling salty water and let it cook for 9 minutes while I poached the shrimp in the heavenly buttery sauce.

Buttery, shrimpy goodness

When the shrimp had cooked through and the pasta was done, I drained the water off the spaghetti, put some on a plate, topped it with shrimp and sauce and dug in.  Lemon hit me first and then it melted into the butter and the wine, the shrimp cooked perfectly.  No words were uttered, just yummy sounds.

So quick, so easy, and relatively cheap.  A bag of frozen, de-veined tiger shrimp was $12, a box of pasta is a $1, the wine was $5 (woo hoo, big spender!), and the stick of butter came out to something like $.75?  And there were leftovers!  I didn’t follow a recipe, just general knowledge and gut instincts, which I think is really the basics of how to become a cook. 

Bon appetit, y’all!


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And it was DELICIOUS. What a great chef I live with!

Apparently that’s “Master Chef.”

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