Sunday, November 14, 2010

Scampi a Veneto

     Scampi cooked in the style of Venice Italy, is by far the most popular shrimp recipe that there is next to shrimp cocktail.  I have cooked over 10,000 orders of this recipe in my lifetime.  Scampi are a small kind of shrimp that are caught in the Aegean Sea.  In America, they call this recipe Shrimp Scampi.  First generation Italians that I have worked with in kitchens just "scratch their head" when they hear someone say shrimp scampi!  To them it means "shrimp shrimp."
     Scampi a Veneto is a very old Italian recipe that comes from the age of when Venice was the modern gourmet food capitol of the world.  Viennese and French cooking both have their origins in Venice.  A true Scampi a Veneto is sauteed and never broiled or baked.  Fresh lemon is the key to a great Scampi a Veneto.
     Recipe:  Peel and devein some medium size shrimp, but leave the tails on.
     Lightly dredge the shrimp in flour.
     Saute finely 3 chopped garlic cloves and and equal amount of chopped shallot in olive oil and unsalted butter over medium high heat.
     Before the garlic cooks to a golden color add the floured shrimp.
     Saute till the shrimp are half way cooked.
     Add a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
     Add a splash of dry white wine.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add a few lemon slices.
     Saute and shake the pan till a light sauce is formed by the binding of the flour on the shrimp.
     Add some fine chopped Italian parsley.
     Set the sauteed lemon slices on a plate.
     Set a twist of al dente cooked fettucini pasta on the plate.
     Add a few butter pats to the hot shrimp and sauce while stirring to form a butter sauce.
     Set the shrimp on the plate and spoon the sauce over the shrimp and pasta.
     Garnish the plate with Italian Parsley sprigs.
     So few ingredients and yet such a great flavor!  Fresh lemon flavors the butter sauce.  The garlic and shallot give this recipe its bold flavor.  Never cook the garlic till it is dark in this recipe or the sauce will taste bitter.  The butter sauce is quickly made.  Too much time on the heat will cause the rich butter finished sauce to break and separate.  Putting sliced lemon in the saute does add a bolder lemon flavor and the lemon slices add to the eye appeal of the plate.  You can serve Scampi a Veneto with rice but a twist of pasta is a nice Italian touch.  Yummy!  Ciao Baby!  ... Shawna

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