Greek Style Shrimp Scampi

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I'm sick of working with shrimp but it's easy for me to throw together, especially for dinner during the week nights. So, I took a turn from my favorite Shrimp Scampi and decided to play around with some different flavors. I didn't veer off course too much, but just enough to make an updated version with even more flavor and wow factor.

In place of the traditional white wine I reached for my always chilled bottle of ouzo in the freezer. Frankly, I hate drinking ouzo. But love cooking with it. It leaves the most incredible sweet and fragrant flavor especially in sauces. It's a highly underutilized ingredient in the American kitchen and I am to change that, starting with this recipe. Simple butter and olive oil begin with marinated garlic and lemon shrimp in a super hot pan. The ouzo is added then set afire. The ignition of the liquor helps to caramelize the dish in a wonderfully subtle manner. Plus if you have guests it'll give them a show as well.   For garnish, some simple bright chopped parsley. Serve it immediately with lots of crusty bread or a side of pilaf rice for that incredible sauce.

Greek Style Shrimp Scampi
2 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
juice of 1 lemon
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup ouzo
good quality olive oil for serving
feta cheese for serving (optional)

Wash and pat dry the shrimp, then place in a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic and season with salt and pepper to taste. You can do this step up to a few hours to night before.

When ready to cook, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shrimp and marinade right into the pan all at once and spread out. Cook for two minutes, stir, then add the ouzo. Taking the pan off the heat, ignite it with a torch and let the alcohol burn off. Be careful of the open flame, and do not do this directly under a ceiling sprinkler because it will trigger the fire alarm! Conversely, you can add the alcohol off the heat and then carefully return the pan back to the heat and cook the shrimp, avoiding the igniting altogether.

Cook until shrimp all turned bright orange. Top with crumbled feta cheese if desired and a drizzle of good olive oil and serve immediately.

1 comment:

Faye said...

Scampi tastes really good with feta cheese.