I love appetizers, tapas, small bites, or whatever you call them at your house. I enjoy trying new recipes and making a meal out of several appetizers allows me to hit my taste buds in all the right places and to get some great ideas for parties. Last Sunday was a big game day at our house: Eagles and Phillies. That doesn't happen often. We're getting into the tradition of celebrating football Sundays with a fun meal with the extended family (my mom and brother), but this week we went for a selection of appetizers: pepperoni bread, potato skins, and baked shrimp scampi. Maybe that doesn't go together at your house, but nibbled over the afternoon with a nice glass of sangria, it works.
The baked shrimp scampi recipe is a slight modification of Ina Garten's version in her latest cookbook, Back to Basics. I love Ina Garten, but that's another post. Let's just focus on the shrimp. This recipe has a strong garlic flavor and a generous amount of butter. That's why I love it. I consider it restaurant-quality. It would be great as an entree, or this portion could serve 4-6 people as an appetizer.
I picked up a pound of shrimp from the seafood counter at Costco. Our Costco sells "fresh" seafood every weekend. I'll note that the Costco shrimp are already deveined, which is a great time saver. I still had to peel the shrimp, but it was very simple.
After peeling and butterflying the shrimp (and leaving the tails on so they looked pretty), I tossed them with olive oil, white wine, salt, and pepper.
I let the shrimp marinate for a few minutes while I prepared the topping. I mixed together softened butter, rosemary, lemon zest, garlic, fresh parsley, red pepper flakes, egg yolk, panko bread crumbs, and salt and pepper to create a crumbly topping for the shrimp.
Then, I sprayed a pie pan with Pam and arranged the shrimp in a spiral design around the pan. I also poured the remaining juices from the marinade over the shrimp. (You could also arrange the shrimp with the tails up, depending on the size of your pan).
Top the shrimp with the butter mixture. You're now ready to bake your scampi. The thing I love most about this dish is that you can prepare it up to this point a few hours in advance and have it in the fridge waiting for company to arrive.
Bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes (until shrimp are pink and the top is browned) and serve hot.
Baked Shrimp Scampi
1 pound (12 to 15 per pound) shrimp in the shell
1 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 extra-large egg yolk
1/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
Lemon wedges, for serving
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture.
In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until combined.
Starting from the outer edge of a pie dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer cut side down with the tails curling up and towards the center of the dish. Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1 minute. Serve with lemon wedges.