No “Shrimpy” Shrimp on Our Plates

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.

Texas sized shrimp from HEB Grocery Store

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:

Marinated gulf coast shrimp.

We serve the scampi with a baguette and a bowl of fresh Middle Eastern Tomato Salad to balance the flavors (offset calories!).

The wine not used in the recipe is now in my glass!

Bon Appetit!!

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.

23 thoughts on “No “Shrimpy” Shrimp on Our Plates

  1. Tracey, I took a package of shrimp out of the freezer this morning, not knowing exactly how I would cook it tonight, but now I know. How nice to have a friend who makes vinegar. I’ll have to check out his products. The tomato salad does sound like the perfect side dish – I think I have everything to make that too. Maybe I’ll add a little feta cheese. Okay, now that dinner is settled, I’m off to finish my Christmas cookies! Have a great day.


  2. I would love you to make that for me someday! It will be a bit different with our available shrimp but it sounds amazing!, and with the tomato salad! I wouldn’t mind at all hiring you to make this meal as a surprise gift to Ralph. We will still be in Kingston some of January due to his recovery!


    • I’d be happy to make this for you and Ralph. We might have to develop a Kingston edition of the recipe or use frozen shrimp. It’s always really good! I’m sorry your trip to Mesa is being delayed, but maybe we will get to see you. I’ll text you our schedule.


  3. That dish looks amazing and one I will be trying in the future! Although I probably won’t be able to get shrimp that big. (Seems funny to use “shrimp” and “big” in the same sentence…LOL.) The vinegar though…love the name! Will have to look for something similar on this side of the border. Great post, Tracey!



  4. Hi, Tracey – Thank you for joining us for Whats On Your Plate (woypbc). This shrimp recipe looks delicious. And since I see that my good friend, Deb, is going to try this recipe, maybe she’ll make some for me! Hopefully she comes back and reads this comment. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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