Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi...

Shrimp are always one of those ingredients I try to keep stocked and handy in the freezer for those nights when we need to make a speedy dish. When I came across this Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi, I made sure to set it aside in the "dinner done in a hurry" stack of recipes... and since I wasn't going to have much prep time tonight, it was nice to know I wasn't going to have to worry about trying to find a recipe that didn't require a lot of effort or time.

Since the little buggers cook in a flash, we brought a pot of water to a boil and seasoned it well with salt to cook a handful of orzo pasta. When the pasta was al dente, we drained away the water and tossed it with fresh parsley and a knob of butter. The original recipe didn't add any butter at this point, but what fun is that? Besides, that little richness does wonders and helps keep the orzo groovin' on the plate.

Once that was ready and covered to keep warm, a bit more butter was added to a skillet, followed by the addition of peeled shrimp. Our skillet was large enough to do this in one batch in the pool of butter, but if they would crowd the pan too much, split the shrimp up into two batches instead. You'll want to let them go until they are almost cooked through, but not quite. The shrimp are scooped out and another pat of butter added to the skillet to take the harsh edge off a few cloves of minced garlic. After the garlic has infiltrated its presence into the butter, the shrimp are tossed back in and allowed to briefly sit over the heat to finish cooking through.

Finished by sprinkling fresh ground black pepper and squeezing a lemon half over the top to add a burst of brightness, the shrimp and butter are set over the bed of green-speckled orzo to serve. Ready in less than 20 minutes, I can see several servings of this snazzy shrimp dish in our future. While nice for a light dinner, this would also be a perfect and refreshing lunch to make when our refrigerator is void of leftovers from the night before!