baked shrimp scampiCan someone explain to me why I don’t own any Barefoot Contessa cookbooks? I love Ina Garten, and her food is killer. That chicken pot pie has become a sacred occasion at my house, and people still talk about the salted caramels (once I got the hang of the recipe). Now I’ve made her baked shrimp scampi after seeing her make it on TV the other day. And it’s awesome.

Shrimp is a risky protein here. It can be so good, and I used to plan shrimp recipes all the time. But when the moment came to make them I never actually felt like having shrimp. Neither did Adam. We like them in theory, but neither of us starts singing Kumbaya at the thought of an entire meal centered around them. But last week I had a crummy meeting after school and needed a pick-me-up. Something new to cook but fast and easy. And I went to Whole Foods for inspiration and remembered Ina.

Once you peel and devein the shrimp this dish is a breeze. And nothing makes dinner better than lemony, buttery spaghetti. So that’s what I served with it. Even Adam could only muster happy grunting and “Mmmm” sounds, so that’s an excellent sign.

Baked Shrimp Scampi (quantities halved from The Barefoot Contessa)

1 lb shrimp in the shell
1.5 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
1/8 cup minced shallots
1.5 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
.5 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
.5 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
.5 extra-large egg yolk (that was fun to divide up
1/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
Lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture.

marinating shrimp

In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until combined.

mashing the scampi topping

Starting from the outer edge of a 14-inch oval gratin dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer cut side down with the tails curling up and towards the center of the dish. **I pulled my tails off and didn’t have enough shrimp to have them standing straight up in a smaller oval dish, and they were still completely fine.

arranding shrimp scampi

Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp.

with scampi topping

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1 minute. Serve with lemon wedges.