Buchanan Shrimp Scampi
1 lb medium fresh shrimp
- We use smaller fresh peeled shrimp size (51-60)
2 tbsp butter or margarine
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
¾ tsp dried basil leaves
½ tsp dried oregano leaves
¾ tsp garlic powder
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Peel and devein shrimp.
Measure the herbs and spices and set aside.
Heat wok on medium high, once it sizzles when water is splashed on it add the butter, oil, spices and lemon juice. When the butter is melted add the shrimp and quickly fry. Stir to keep them all in the heat until they lose their pink color. This will take less than 5 minutes, watch the shrimp, they can be easily overcooked.
We serve with rice or grits.
This recipe was created in an attempt to make the traditional scampi a little more healthy for my wife Pat. I pulled out my handy Spice Cookbook, sadly no longer in print. I was a bachelor in the navy and had to cook for myself, this book is what started me appreciating herbs and spices. Next I picked up (and filled up) the spice rack we still use today. Of course my spices have spilled over into another cupboard in the kitchen, it is too messy to share here.
I found a base recipe to tinker with there. We left the original measurements of herbs and spices but reduced the oil and butter from ¼ cup and 1 cup respectively to 2 tbsp each. Next I changed the cooking vessel from a baking dish to the wok. I find that when you cook in the wok you are able to infuse the same flavor with the smaller amounts of fat.
We love grits at the house and find they are a natural match for this recipe. The strong herbal flavors in the sauce blend well with the creamy base of grits. The topper is to serve this with something that has a little acid, our favorite is sliced tomatoes fresh off the vine. I have some pointers below on how to make quick grits, they are not hard but require some patience and attention.
- We follow the ratio of water to grits on the box. Don’t forget to add the salt!
- The box of quick grits says to cook for 5-8 minutes. That means they are ready pretty quickly if you are in a hurry but they are creamier the longer you cook them. After the first 5 or 10 minutes of cooking just put on low heat, check on them every 15 minutes or so to see if they are getting too thick and need more water. We like runnier grits but you can keep them as stiff as you like.
- Once the water is boiling slowly add the grits while constantly boiling. If you just dump in the grits they will be lumpy.
- Stir continually for at least 5 minutes, this prevents clumping on the bottom which can cause burning.
- Cheese makes grits even more delicious! We made 8 servings of grits and added ½ a block of cream cheese and grated cheddar for this batch. We added them after the first hour of cooking and they melted right in during the second hour of cooking. Be creative, the type of cheese doesn’t matter, it just makes the grits richer.