This month’s “What’s on Your Plate” blog challenge was restaurant inspired. Since we still eat mostly at home, I’ll say this blog was inspired by HEB grocery store and their “Texas sized” shrimp.
One of the meals my husband and I discovered is Baked Shrimp Scampi by Ina Garten. In addition to the HEB shrimp, another inspiring factor of this recipe is the substitution of one of the ingredients. Read on to find out….
My Mother introduced me to Ina Garten recipes when I was a single working woman. The ingredients of most of the recipe’s I use are salt, pepper, “good” olive oil and the thing being cooked. The scampi recipe has a few more ingredients, but it’s still simple and delicious.
We started making this right after quarantining began the first quarter of 2020 and have been perfecting it since. I know I said it was easy, but half way through the year, I realized I was butterflying the wrong side of the shrimp – neither Ina Garten nor my husband’s fault. It still tasted wonderful. Since then we’ve been prepping and cooking this dish together with my husband doing the nasty part (see how that worked out?)
About the same time, friend Nick Mechak started experimenting with fermentation and making craft vinegars. We tried several of these before he went commercial and settled in on a favorite. One of our recipe perfecting steps is substituting white wine with Nick’s Lemongrass Tequila vinegar. If you’d rather drink your wine or don’t drink at all, Nick’s vinegars are for you. A sober sommelier (yes, it’s possible!), Nick advised that the acetic acid bacteria fermenting turns alcohol into acetic acid. He even has it tested by a Cornell University lab to ensure the ABV is less than .05%. For more products and recipes using vinegar, visit Sour Humanoid. Meanwhile, we marinate the shrimp in olive oil, salt, pepper and vinegar before laying them out in the casserole dish:
We serve the scampi with a baguette and a bowl of fresh Middle Eastern Tomato Salad to balance the flavors (offset calories!).
Our notes for following the scampi recipe:
- Use large shrimp because they reheat better (we are “leftovers” people.)
- Double the amount of garlic, from 4 to 8 cloves (we are serious about garlic!)
- Use juice from the whole lemon to dilute the butter.
- Use 3 tablespoons of Lemongrass Tequila vinegar instead of 2 of wine.
- Since we use shrimp the size of a man’s thumb, bake for 2 extra minutes.
- Broil the scampi for an extra minute to brown the topping.