The prep work was ridiculously easy:
I like to keep a bag of raw shrimp in my deep freeze. I do a quick thaw, with room temp water. In a matter of minutes, I can easy butterfly the shrimp. These were pretty much deveined, but I still remove any traces of that black squiggly stuff. I cut the recipe in half, calculating about six shrimp per person-- which turned out to be a tad over one pound.
Set the shrimp aside, to room temperature and now to make the topping.
In a bowl, add the softened butter, zest, lemon juice, herbs, shallots and-- definitely-- red pepper flakes. I highly recommend it! Of course, you need panko crumbs. These are my favorite and love them a lot more then traditional breadcrumbs. I love the crunch. Last, add the egg yolk and combine everything. This takes about 2 minutes!
The topping is ready.
It doesn't have to be perfect. You're going to cover these with that buttery-flavorful topping--
I popped this into the fridge for about 2 hours. This is perfect for entertaining. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425F and bake these for 10-12 minutes. How about some easy side dishes?
For fluffy rice, I rinse it thoroughly I like to make "Budget Saffron Rice" by using a 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric to color the rice a pretty yellow. I like to use a combo of chicken broth and water, too.
When the rice is cooked, I add fresh herbs and lemon juice. Sometimes I add peas. My son loves my Split Pea Soup but he hates fresh peas. He's weird. But, he was a dinner guest and I left it out.
Roasting asparagus is our favorite way to prepare these. Welcome to the first fresh asparagus of the California Season, at $1.27 a pound! I use kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, some olive oil-- and this time, freshly grated Parmesan. Baked at 425F for about 12 minutes, which happens to be the same temperature of roasting the shrimp-- these are so good!
The smell is amazing! Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the baked scampi, as soon as it comes out of the oven.
This is my son's dinner plate. He was licking his chops.
VERDICT: Ina Garten delivers, once again! The flavors worked so well together-- just enough garlic, the acid of the lemon and subtle heat of the red pepper-- the white wine (which I also drank a glass of) and the crunch of the panko crumbs-- even Craig liked this dinner. This recipe is a keeper, and I love the ease of making this dish. I can spend more time with dinner guests, instead of cooking in the kitchen. Loved it!
LEFTOVERS: The next day, there were a few shrimp left. I added some fresh panko, a little drizzle of olive oil and broiled the dish. These were excellent! I didn't broil the dish the first time, but I think that's a great touch.
All three recipes are at the very bottom of this post. I hope you give them a try, because this dinner wasn't too expensive and very easy to make. I still hold Ina Garten near and dear to my heart as a Celebrity Chef and Entrepreneur who makes beautiful and flavorful dishes that are very easy to prepare.
Counting down the days till Spring,