The Barefoot Contessa

Image and Recipe Courtesy of The Barefoot Contessa. My food never looks that good. Tastes good. But presentation is something I need to work on.

Last night for dinner I decided to pretend to be The Barefoot Contessa. Doesn’t that sound so incredibly elegant and fabulous? Picture me in a my kitchen overlooking the Adriatic while I cook a beautiful meal involving let’s say octopus. That seems like something a Contessa would cook. I know, back up the bus. The Barefoot Contessa in reality is Ina Garten who is fabulous in her own right, but she’s cooking in a kitchen somewhere on the east coast with perhaps a view of the Atlantic. And Jeffery is on his way home from somewhere and she’s making him his favorite meal. They make such a cute couple. I would actually be very happy to be Ina Garten. Have you seen her house? Her kitchen? I love how she’s always having people over for an impromptu meal in her garden. I would like to have people over for an impromptu meal in my garden. First I need a garden. I digress.

I also love Ina Garten because her recipes are so doable. Approachable. When I read the recipe I don’t run screaming from the kitchen. I know the end result will be simple, delicious and won’t take forever and a day. I am a person born without patience so for ever and a day doesn’t work in my world.

So that brings me to her Oven Baked Shrimp Scampi. I’m always looking for yummy things to do with shrimp because one, I love shrimp and two, shrimp is really inexpensive at Uwajimaya my favorite Asian grocery. Granted she does all kinds of lovely presentation kind of stuff with her food which I simply don’t have the patience for (see second paragraph about patience issue), which is why she’s The Barefoot Contessa and I am Three Dogs and a Moose.

Oven Baked Shrimp Scampi

2 pounds (12 to 15 per pound) shrimp in the shell (I used one pound) 
3 tablespoons good olive oil
2 tablespoons dry white wine (I had a bottle of Three Blind Moose Chardonnay in the fridge and used that. You know I can’t make this shit up. The wine. it exists)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature (that’s a lot of butter people and while I’m sure tasty, totally not necessary. I use about 3 T)
4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
1/4 cup minced shallots
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves (No parsley. The concept of parsley and it’s purpose in this world continues to puzzle me)
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves (Oops. Forgot the rosemary)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 extra-large egg yolk
2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
Lemon wedges, for serving (Do your really think I did this??)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on. (Totally didn’t butterfly. Just peeled the shrimp and plopped them not so gently in the marinade.) (Again…this is why I don’t have my own show on the Food Network.) 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.

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.

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. (You so know I didn’t do that) Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. 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.

I served it with linguine, a lovely salad and bread from New Seasons. Totally not Paleo and I’m okay with that. Enjoy!!!


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