Monday, May 24, 2010

What the Heck is Scampi? (It's still May)

Wikipedia has the answer. It's a culinary name for some species of lobster, more exactly Norway Lobsters or Dublin Bay Prawn. Dublin Bay Prawn in Italian is "scampi". Why "shrimp scampi" then, you ask? I've been wondering that myself. It's like calling a dish "shrimp shrimp". Even that is a stretch.

Regardless. Shrimp scampi is delicious. Seeing as the quarter is ending and I have to move out of my apartment in the next few weeks I busted out some shrimp from the freezer. Surprisingly it was very easy to make. You can't really go wrong with butter, garlic, shrimp and lemon juice.

(By the way, the last time I made shrimp it was absolutely revolting. I was under the impression that my shrimp was shelled and deveined. In my haste to finish making dinner I just skewered and grilled it. Oy, oy, oy, oy. It tasted fine, but boy do you lose your appetite quickly when you have to take off the shrimp's little legs off before you eat it. I almost threw up. Hence my leftover shrimp sitting in the freezer, oh, since January.)


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Ingredients
1 1/2 pound jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup dry white vermouth
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest


Directions
Put the shrimp on a large pie pan or plate and pat them completely dry with a paper towel. Arrange the shrimp so they lay flat and are evenly spaced.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add the butter to the skillet. When the foaming subsides, raise the heat to high, and invert the plate of shrimp over the pan so the shrimp fall into the pan all at once. Cook the shrimp, without moving them, for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Turn the shrimp over and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl.

Return the skillet to the heat and pour in the vermouth and lemon juice. Boil the liquid until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir the zest and parsley into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the shrimp, season with salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine.


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Yum. It was good. Don't skimp on the lemon. It really helps offset all the butter.

In other news I crashed on my board. I ride my longboard every single day. So far I've been able to avoid any serious crashes despite Westwood's horrendous streets. (I could write a whole post about the streets surrounding UCLA. It's maddening.) I had just parked a few blocks from my apartment and was skating back. Most of my stuff was in my backpack but I had 11 apples in a package in my arms. I was on Veteran. I skate to and from work on that street every Tuesday and Thursday but it was dark. I hit a crack in the sidewalk and landed on my right elbow. It sucked. My board shot back, apples flew everywhere. I don't know how long I sat there scared out of my mind. I picked everything up and walked home. It turned out to be not that bad; the pain subsided, I have a few scratches. I am a little worried because it has been 24 hours and the pain is not in my elbow anymore but in the forearm and fingers. It's just a dull ache. I'll get it checked out if it doesn't go away in the next week or so. I wonder if I hit the funny bone.


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