I’ve noticed something about a lot of people.
They apparently like bland food.
Do you like bland food? I didn’t think so. I have a feeling that if you asked most people face-to-face if they like bland food, the answer would be unequivocally no. However, so many of the recipes that I make turn out….meh. Even recipes from my favorite food writers can have a tendency to fall a little flat.
One of my biggest issues? Garlic. Garlic. Garlic.
I recently made a recipe that included the words garlic butter in the title. I made it with high hopes for a mouth-searingly garlicky dinner and found that I could barely taste the garlic. I was disappointed, to say the least. I remember when I discovered my love for garlic. I worked at a small local bagel shop in college. The dehydrated garlic we put on our garlic and everything bagels was so strong in the shop that when I would leave for the day I would have to sit in my car and wait for the burning and watering caused by the fresh air hitting my eyes subsided. Man, I loved those bagels. And from then on, I loved garlic.
As I lamented the lack of garlic flavor in this dinner, I realized that a too-mild garlic flavor had been the culprit in many disappointing dishes, not least of which being shrimp scampi. I mean, I love the idea of shrimp scampi: shrimp, garlic, butter, white wine, lemon….what’s not to love?
I set out to perfect a great garlicky shrimp scampi and realized that there was not one but two problems with the way I’ve been making and serving shrimp scampi all these years: (1) not enough garlic-for two servings, four or five cloves was necessary to get the flavor right; and (2) I have been serving scampi over pasta, which was soaking up all the garlic flavor. Clearly I was doing this wrong, so I tried serving my über-amped-up garlicky shrimp scampi with warm a baguette and a side of vegetables. Turns out super garlicky shrimp scampi stands on its own. You don’t need pasta to be a filler.
If you make my garlicky shrimp scampi, I promise you’ll be happy with its garlicky essence (assuming you’re a garlic lover like me)!
Have you ever been so excited to try a new dish only to be disappointed by a lack of flavor in the finished product? I want to hear about it!
Yield: 4 servings
This recipe is adapted from Simply Recipes .
20 minPrep Time:
5 minCook Time:
25 minTotal Time:
- 1lb raw 16/20 shrimp (shelled and cleaned. You can leave the tails on but I find it much easier to just remove them.)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6-8 cloves garlic, minced (I know it sounds like a lot! Trust me on this! TRUST ME.)
- 1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or Vermouth (I used Chardonnay)
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- baguette (for serving)
- Heat a 10-inch sauté pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the garlic, the red pepper flakes, and a sprinkle of salt. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in the shrimp and the white wine, stirring to coat the shrimp. Spread the shrimp into a single layer. Increase the heat to medium-high allow the wine to bubble for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and chopped parsley. Add salt to taste. Serve immediately with baguette or other crusty bread to sop the juices.
This recipe cooks very quickly. Be sure to have all of your elements chopped, measured, etc...ready to go in the pan. There's no time to prep as you go!