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[Photograph: Blake Royer]

Shrimp scampi is not a dish I had ever thought about cooking until now. I used to think of it more as a long-gone memory of childhood and something from commercials for Red Lobster. But the loss has definitely been mine. In the way that all clichés have an element of truth to them, famous dishes have great potential for their original deliciousness. And when you start to add up the ingredients in shrimp scampi—pasta, butter, garlic, white wine, and shrimp—its deliciousness is easy to imagine.

This highly rated recipe from Epicurious seems to be something of a gold standard. Since I had artichokes at hand I slipped them into the dish, but they're not necessary. What matters is good technique: sautéeing the shrimp first over decently high heat to develop some flavor in the pan, and adding the butter at the end until it just melts but is not yet separated, creating a luscious, rather than greasy, sauce. If you follow those guidelines and the ratio of ingredients in this recipe, the result is almost certainly going to be delicious.

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Shrimp Scampi with Artichokes »

About the author: Blake Royer is a food writer, photographer, and filmmaker based in Chicago; he has been writing for Serious Eats since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter @blakeroyer.

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