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Scamper To The Table With Some Beautiful Shrimp

Shrimp BoatNational Shrimp Scampi Day

April 29th is National Shrimp Scampi Day. Restaurants across America have been serving Shrimp Scampi for years, especially the Italian-American establishments in the Northeast and the Midwest.

You’d be hard pressed though to find this dish when traveling through Italy. Scampi in Italy are small crustaceans with light pink shells that look closer to lobster than they do shrimp. In Europe, they’re also known as Langoustine or Dublin Bay Prawns and Norway Lobster.  

The traditional way to serve them in Italy is sautéed in olive oil with garlic, onion and white wine. When Italians came to the US they substituted domestic shrimp for the small crustaceans they were used too. They cooked them the same way they always did and thus Shrimp “Scampi” style was born.

One big problem was the access to good olive oil in the states when Italians migrated here in the late 19th and early 20th century. Butter, however, was readily available and they used that instead. Restauranteurs begin selling this Shrimp Scampi as a main dish with pasta or rice and the rest is history.

Shrimp Scampi was one of the biggest sellers at a Steakhouse I used to work at in south Florida. We would melt a couple of big tablespoons of a compound butter (Scampi butter) in a sauté pan, quickly cook 6-8 large peeled shrimp, add a touch of cream and a squeeze of fresh lemon then toss it with linguine and fresh Tarragon. Here is the recipe for the compound butter we used. Wrapped tightly it will keep several weeks in the fridge and freezes well. Hope you enjoy it.

Compound Butter Recipe
This is great recipe for compound butter when making Shrimp Scampi.
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  1. 1 lb Butter
  2. 1 lb Margarine
  3. 6 oz Cider Vinegar
  4. 1 cup White Wine
  5. 3 cloves Garlic
  6. 2 Shallots Diced
  7. 2 oz Dijon Mustard
  8. 2 oz Worcestershire Sauce
  9. 1 Tbsp Sugar
  10. 1 Tbsp Seasoned Salt
  11. 1 Tbsp Granulated Garlic
  1. In a Kitchen Aid type stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a food processor blend butter and margarine till soft. Add mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings. Slowly add white wine and vinegar until incorporated well. Portion the mixture into one pound logs with parchment paper. This butter is also wonderful with poultry, pork, beef, and anything that swims in the ocean.
  2. By Thomas Jones
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