Shrimp scampi was one of my favorite seafood dishes in my late teens to early twenties. The garlicky aroma, the velvety butter sauce, and fresh Florida shrimp made me a happy dude.
So you can imagine my disappointment when later in life I found out that there was no such thing as "shrimp scampi". It was just about as bad as finding out that there is no "Santa Claus". The dish I had been so enthralled with was a lie!
Scampi isn't a dish. It is the Italian name for a small lobster also called Norway lobster, Dublin Bay Prawns, or langoustine [Davidson]. The "shrimp scampi" dishes that typically show up on American menus are shrimp, garlic, butter, and wine. No scampi added.
But like the propagandist motto says, "If you repeat a lie often enough it becomes the truth". The misuse of the term has been so prevalent that now most dictionaries include a secondary definition of Scampi that includes the American shrimp dish [Epicurious].
So this is the shrimp scampi dish that I made for an appetizer this week - or it isn't.
This is a quick but delicious dish that can be an appetizer or just double the portions and add pasta for an entree. It has minimal prep and cook times. If you're having a cookout or tailgate, this dish is one way to really impress your friends with your grilling skills. But you could also prepare this in your oven or under a broiler.
Fire Roasted Shrimp Scampi
serves: 4 appetizers or 2 entrees
- 20 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 3/4 lb of 26-30 ct shrimp)
- 1/4 cup coarse chopped garlic
- 6 Tbsp butter, cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- black pepper
- 1 lemon halve
- Kosher salt
- Preheat a charcoal grill to 450f set up for indirect grilling.
- Divide the shrimp into 4 au gratin dishes (or other oven safe ceramic dishes). Add the butter, garlic, and wine. Season each dish with a pinch of fresh ground black pepper.
- Roast the shrimp in the grill with the lid closed until they turn pink, about 7 minutes.
- Remove and sqeeze the lemon* halve over the dishes to give each just a splash. Season each dish with a pinch or two of salt. Garnish with a little parsley if you like.
- Serve with crispy toasted garlic bread.
- I like to grill my lemon cut side down over direct heat for 1 or 2 minutes at the end for a flavor boost.
|Make sure the butter is touching ceramic so it will melt faster.|
|Instead of the traditional offset indirect method, I just put a piece of stoneware between the dishes and the hot coals. You could do the same with a pizza stone.|
|Shrimp have a built in cooking timer - their tails!|
This was a big hit for all of us and it disappeared in no time. The toast is mandatory! It is so good to sop up the garlic butter left in the bowl.