Shrimp Scampi

February 24, 2010

(Q) What’s the most delicious meal you can make in under 25 minutes? (A) And there is only one answer: Shrimp Scampi.

Chris Kimball’s recipe is here. Cook the shrimp on the stovetop for 2 minutes (no more), set aside, reduce the wine for 5 minutes, let the shrimp finish cooking in the sauce and you’re done. It all happens so fast that you had better have pre-chopped the parsley!

Problems:

  1. I always forget two things when making Shrimp Scampi. (a) Start heating the water for the pasta as soon as you start thawing the shrimp.  Really, it’s not too soon. (b) Even though fresh pasta is ready in less than 2 minutes, it still needs to the stirred.  I usually forget and the clumpy mess makes me wish that I had just used dried pasta. But when I remember (on nights such as tonight) it makes for a wonderful 5-star meal.
  2. Don’t overcook the Shrimp. It’s so easy to do. The first step only requires cooking the shrimp 3/4.  The final 1/4 will happen when you finalize the sauce.
  3. To concentrate the flavor, I double the wine (to 1/2 cup) and let it reduce in the pan for 5 minutes. (Something Chris Kimball doesn’t tell you about, and my only variation from the CI recipe.)

Rating: 5-star.
Cost: $7 for 3 to 4 servings. (1-lb shrimp)
How much work? Tiny.
How big of a mess?  Low.
Start time 6:00 PM. Dinner time 6:25 PM.

Best possible meal in 25 minutes.

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