Here’s the thing about shrimp: Unless you’re catching them yourself, there’s a good chance they’ve been frozen. So, skip the seafood counter with the premium prices and buy a two-pound bag of (cleaned and uncooked) frozen jumbo shrimp. If you’re not using them right away, store in the freezer for a last minute dinner rush. You probably already have the other ingredients. So effortless, shrimp scampi with black rice could also be called “dinner insurance”.
Defrosting shrimp secret: If you’re caught short and need your shrimp right away, here’s a secret to quick defrosting. Place the frozen shrimp in a colander and run cool water over them for 5-10 minutes (you can prepare the other ingredients while you’re waiting). You’ll know they’ve thawed then they no longer stick together. Pat shrimp dry for best sautéing.
About cooking with wine: Most recipes don’t require a whole bottle of wine, so there’s no need to skimp on quality. Quit simply, if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it.
Black rice: AKA forbidden rice because in China’s olden days, black rice was considered the highest in quality and only served to the Emperor, hence the name. Not only does it have a hearty, nutty taste, but it’s a whole grain that’s good for you and it looks really great on a plate.
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 shallots, minced
- Juice of half a lemon
- ½ cup good quality wine
- 2 lbs. jumbo shrimp, uncooked, cleaned and shelled
- ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Black rice, cooked according to package (Whole Foods, Costco)
- In a large skillet over medium heat, combine 3 tablespoons butter with the olive oil. Add the garlic and shallots and sauté until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and wine, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until there’s about 2 tablespoons of liquid in the skillet. Whisk in the remaining tablespoon of butter.
- Add shrimp and sauté until opaque, 2-4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately with black rice.