“Quick and easy” is the cooking theme this week at IHCC. I chose Ina Garten’s baked shrimp scampi. By and large, cooking shrimps is quick — done in a blink of the eye. Well almost. This recipe is no exception. Baking is a cooking method I haven’t used too often with shrimps.
Baking shrimp in the oven is relatively effortless. Put the prepared gratin dish in the oven; everything is cooked minutes later. No stirring. No watching over the stove. All you need is a good recipe. Ina delivers that. She has perfected the easy-to-follow steps, meanwhile taking out all the guesswork.
First, make the marinade for the shrimps. The marinade is none other than the everyday white wine, olive oil, salt and pepper. Very basic. Next, make the herb butter mixture which will be spread on the shrimps before they go into the oven. The herb butter mixture, including: garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk and panko, is mashed together in a bowl. Of course, you need the quintessential butter for the butter mixture. I lightened up the dish by reducing the excessive amount of butter (1 1/2 stick) and substituted with olive oil. To amp up the flavor, I used more garlic and lemon than required. My approach, as usual, is a lighter and leaner dish.
Can’t help to be skeptical about the baking time the shrimp scampi requires. I used smaller frozen shrimps than the fresh 12-15 per pound size that the recipe calls for. The recipe says bake for 10-12 minutes at 425°F. I set the timer for ten minutes. In addition, I want that desirable golden brown crust on top. Ina recommends putting the gratin under the broiler. Since my broiler takes a fairly long time to heat up, I turned to the blow torch. That’s a lot of fun to fire up. It did the trick.
This recipe is truly easy, especially when you have the chance to prepare the herb butter mixture ahead of time. A shrimp scampi dinner could be served in minutes. Perfect for a midweek meal.
Baked Shrimp ScampiPrint Recipe
- 2 pounds (12 to 15 per pound) shrimp in the shell
- 3 tablespoons good olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
- ¼ cup minced shallots
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 extra-large egg yolk
- 2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
- Lemon wedges, for serving
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture.
In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper until combined.
Starting from the outer edge of a 14-inch oval gratin dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer cut side down with the tails curling up and toward the center of the dish. Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1 minute. Serve with lemon wedges.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten