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Off Skillet Empire: K_Sull's Flavor Town Shrimp Scampi

I'm taking over Off Skillet Empire for zchris this week and bringing with me a little something we in the fanshots like to call Flavor Town. On today's menu: delicious shrimp scampi. Let's get started, shall we?

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Ingredients

1 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, and rinsed
1 handful linguini
2 shallots, minced
6 - 8 garlic cloves, minced (or less if you're Mochila)
Red pepper flakes, few shakes (optional for spiciness)
1/2 cup dry white wine (I use Chardonnay)
Juice of 1 lemon
4 tbsp. butter, separated
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, separated
Salt & pepper to taste
~1 cup reserved pasta water
Handful of rinsed baby spinach
(Pictured: bananas optional)

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt and the linguini. Cook the linguini about 6 to 8 minutes - it should be cooked but still be firm to the bite. Scoop out approx. 1 cup of the pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta.

While the pasta cooks, heat 2 tbsp. each of olive oil and butter in a skillet on medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Sauté 3 - 4 minutes or until the shallot is translucent.

Salt and pepper the shrimp, then add to the skillet and cook until the shrimp are pink and the tails have curled in, about 5 minutes (depends on the size of the shrimp; I use extra large from the Gulf).

Remove the shrimp from the skillet. Add the lemon juice and wine, and bring to a simmer. Add the remaining olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted, reduce the heat to low and toss in the shrimp and linguini. Start by pouring in 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water and stir to coat the pasta and thicken the sauce. Let warm for a minute, then add more pasta water based on your sauce preference (in total, I usually end up adding about 1/2 cup). Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper to your liking. Throw in a handful of baby spinach and toss to wilt.

Serve!

Bonus! Roasted Tomatoes with Baguette Crostini

Ingredients

3 - 4 plum tomatoes, sliced into 1/2" thick slices
Dried thyme
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper
Small baguette, cut into 1" slices (optional)
1 clove of garlic, cut in half (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 300°F. Place tomato slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and dried thyme and bake for 1.5 - 2 hours until the tomatoes have shrunken a bit and are releasing juice. Remove tomatoes from oven.

Side note: Sometimes I don't feel like making the crostinis so I halve the tomato slices and add them to the pasta. This is a delicious way to improve the dish. But if you do want the crostinis...

Increase the oven temperature to 400°F. Brush one side of the baguette slices with olive oil, place on the baking sheet, and bake for 7 or so minutes. Once the top has started to brown slightly and crisp up, remove from the oven and rub with the cut side of the garlic. Put a roasted tomato slice on top of each piece and serve.

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Check out my adventures in cooking on flickr via K_Sulls_Flavor_Town