This dish is a real classic and very popular in restaurants all over the world. As always with Italian dishes, Scampi requires the highest quality ingredients to be really memorable. Here in our wild savory kitchen, we are always looking to find the most umami flavors possible, along with the most authentic ingredients. We have always felt that the usual Shrimp Scampi you would be served in a restaurant… which is generally just lots of butter, garlic and Italian parsley… wasn’t explosive enough in taste. We wanted to make a memorable version… and this is it.
We use the best Italian extra virgin olive oil, first pressing, very peppery, intensely fruity and deep in flavors. Rather than just use white wine, we use both dry Vermouth and Chardonnay. Along with the traditional Italian parsley, we use both chives and tarragon. And for the shrimp, we use colossal Red Argentinian shrimp, which tastes very much like lobster.
Just imagine yourself dipping hot crusty bread into that buttery/garlicky/tarragon infused sauce… and then peeling those colossal shrimp and dipping THEM into that sauce, with more of the crusty bread! You know you crave this stuff. You know that right now you are starting to think about how to get some of this scampi in front of you. Who wants some? Enjoy!
1 1/4 pound large shrimp, wild caught, shells on, headless and cleaned or 1 pound large wild caught with shells removed
1/2 cup Chardonney
1/2 cup dry vermouth
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons no salt butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces
1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tarragon, finely chopped
1/2 cup Italian parsley, roughly chopped
6 large garlic cloves, crushed or minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 lemon, squeezed for its juice
1 teaspoon salt, to taste
ground black pepper to taste, (we love it, so we use 1 teaspoon)
In a 12 inch saute pan, add all the olive oil and half the butter, along with all the garlic. When the oils are hot and the garlic is sizzling but not yet toasty, add the shrimp and on medium heat, simmer both sides until the shrimp just begins to expand and change colors.
Remove from heat, cover and set aside. They should be coated in hot garlicky oils.
Now add the vermouth and Chardonnay and simmer until about 1/3 reduced, about three minutes. Add the remaining butter and whisk it in, so that the hot oils and the fats of the butter form a beautiful creamy patina.
Now add the lemon juice and salt. Finally add the shrimp back in, along with the lemon zest and all the herbs. Simmer and toss until married, about a minute.
Serve hot with toasty crusty bread. Umami bombi!