My sister recently asked me for my current fave shrimp recipe, and I had an instant answer for her: Melissa Clark’s shrimp scampi, found on The New York Times website. Joie was hunting for shrimp dishes because, as she said, they were only recently back in her life and she kept forgetting that they were once again an option. Having moved from Sweden to California in the fall, she’s still getting used to having non-mini shrimp at every grocery store. I’m not sure if she took this particular Melissa Clark advice–she was a smidge more interested in trying yet another Melissa Clark shrimp hit–but just suggesting it to her was enough to make me need to make this dish again my self. It’s fast as a weeknight dinner can be, delicious, and oh so easy. This makes three MC shrimp recipes I’ve loved enough to blog about, and the third time is just as charmed as the first two.
I found this recipe while poking around the internet in the endless quest for new quick dinner ideas. In the last month-ish I’ve been really out of the weeknight cooking routine, due to a combination of end of semester craziness and general laziness. I needed something easy enough to get me back in the kitchen on a weeknight without it feeling too much like a chore, and something tasty enough to make the effort feel worthwhile. I hoped this would fit the bill, and holy heck did it. The NY Times post lists the time the recipe takes as 15 minutes, and this is probably the closest I’ve come to matching a supposedly under 30 minute recipe’s suggested time.
Along with being very fast to actually make, this recipe has a really pleasantly short ingredient list. I’m realizing more and more that time spent in the grocery store is one of my biggest hurdles to getting into the weeknight cooking groove. A friend recently asked me what over the top things I would want if I suddenly had unlimited funds (inspired by a terrible reality show we both enjoy called Southern Charm that features a women who employs a “gin butler” to deliver on demand martinis), and I told her that I wouldn’t want a personal chef, since I’d still want to cook, but I would want someone to do my grocery shopping for me. Since unlimited funds aren’t exactly part of my current picture, nice quick shopping lists are at least a step in the right direction.
Shrimp dinners tend to fill a very particular need for me. They are reserved for nights when I know I want to make dinner, but I also know I don’t want to take leftovers in to work for lunch the next day. We all have our weird little food things, and not wanting second day shrimp is one of mine. I’ve scaled this recipe down a bit in terms of amount of shrimp to reflect what Hal and I eat for one dinner, but left the sauce ingredient amounts the same, since in my opinion you really can’t have too much buttery garlicy winey sauce. I’ve yet to serve it over pasta, preferring to swipe up the sauce with tasty bread.
A real plus of Melissa Clark’s New York Times recipes is that they tend to come with a snappy little video showing you exactly what to do–and how easy the dish is. I’d definitely recommend watching, and would even more strongly recommend adding this to your next weeknight cooking list.
melissa clark’s shrimp scampi
adapted slightly from The New York Times
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup dry white wine or broth
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1 pound large or extra-large shrimp, shelled
handful chopped parsley
freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon
bread or cooked pasta
In a large skillet, melt butter with olive oil. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine or broth, salt, red pepper flakes and plenty of black pepper and bring to a simmer. Let wine reduce by half, about 2 minutes.
Add shrimp and sauté until they just turn pink, 2 to 4 minutes depending upon their size. Stir in the parsley and lemon juice and serve over pasta or accompanied by crusty bread.