Short on time but long on previously-frozen shrimp, I needed two or three easy sauces in order to vary a week’s worth of meals. The simplest that I came up with was the American-style shrimp scampi. In America, scampi refers to a type of dish, (e.g. shrimp scampi), in which prawns are cooked with white wine and served over pasta. Scampi, however, is actually a small variety of lobster that is also called Norway lobster, Dublin Bay prawn, and lastly by its Italian name, scampi. A fresh langoustine needs just a hint of butter to draw out its sweetness.
The light classic wine and stock combination, which conveniently uses the shells to make shrimp stock, forgives one for using frozen shrimp.
Shrimp with shells – ¾ lb
Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Shallot – 1, chopped
Garlic cloves – 3-4, chopped
Lemon – 1, juice
Thyme – 2 sprigs
Bay leaf – 1
White wine – ½ cup
Stock – ½ cup
Salt and pepper – seasoning
- Peel and devein shrimp. Keep the shells.
- To make a shrimp stock: Boil 2 cups of water. Add the shells and bay leaf. Cook on simmer for 15 minutes. When cool, strain the liquid and reserve.
- Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a medium pan. When oil is hot, lay the shrimp out in a single layer in the pan.
- After about two minutes or when shrimp turns pink, turn the shrimp over. Repeat on the other side. Remove the shrimp and keep aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in the same pan. Add the chopped shallot and cook until softened.
- Add garlic. Sauté for a minute or until garlic turns lightly brown.
- Add the reserved stock and wine to the pan.
- Add thyme. Cook for 10 minutes on low, until the liquid has reduced in volume by about half.
- Add lemon juice.
- Add shrimp and cook until heated through.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour over cooked pasta or spiralized zucchini. Serve immediately.
Note, two mild sauce combinations that also accentuate the briny flavor of shrimp are:
Classic White Wine Sauce: shallots, garlic, and cream.
Coconut Sauce: shallots, garlic, ginger, green chili, and unsweetened coconut milk.