Scampi Stuffed and Roasted Shrimp

by Andie Mitchell on January 10, 2011

I don’t slow down all that often. Because well…rest is like an activity, and I tend to view all activities in the same manic, “hey we’ll fit it all in at some point!,” way. It’s not that I’m not tired. It’s not that I’m always happy to be doing whatever it is I’m charging through. It’s not even that I find masochism’s shoulder particularly comfortable to lean on.

It’s just that I’m over the top in nearly every capacity.

Perfectionistic. Obsessive. Loud. Excitable (and depressable too!). A person who ends each day shocked that we haven’t yet been able to add an hour to the traditional twenty four. A person who would like to write a book on multitasking…while blow drying her hair, brushing her teeth, and making origami simultaneously. A person who was sure at nine years old she’d not only be Tina Turner someday, but also an obstetrician slash fashion designer. The funny part being that the dream only stopped setting like a sun on my horizon a year ago. I’m admittedly still holding true to the Tina side of things. Shake my tail feather.

My point here, other than to file a CraigsList posting in hopes of finding a therapist nearby, is to say, that I should slow down once in a while. Mainly because Ferris Bueller told me I could miss life if I don’t. And also, because sometimes when I’m forced to pump the brakes a bit, I quite enjoy it.

Take this week for example. I flew back to Seattle from a month’s visit with my family in Boston, resumed working like a respectable individual, fell down a massive hill and split my knee in three very unfortunate pieces, clogged not only my kitchen sink, but the bathroom one too, and then, just then, found out my car battery had died and gone to heaven. I’m picturing it floating on a cloud, nestled just to the left of contents of my wallet.

I don’t generally like to say things happen for a reason. You might imagine I miss the silver lining, when and if it’s peeking out of badness’ underbelly. I tend to look solely for gold. More profitable.

But this time is different. My knee is sore so I’m less inclined to race around. My car is kaput. My sinks hate me. I’m limited in mobility and, well, bakeability too. A clogged drain may be the only time when buttercream isn’t the solution.

What did I do then?

I stayed home when I would usually have been fluttering about.

I read a full book on my kindle.

I watched an abominable array of reality television. The size of the hole that bore in my brainspace is the size of the Jersey shore, if you were wondering.

I made hot cocoa. But only as a vehicle for driving through half a bag of mini marshmallows.

I played games with Daniel. And not just mind ones.

I…what’s that word for the thing that people do to their homes just before guests come over? Ah yes. Cleaned.

I sat with my thoughts. My thoughts sat with chocolate.

I wore pajamas exclusively.

I wrote a letter to Haagen Dazs that began and ended with “I love you.”

I wrote a letter to my mother that began and ended with “I love you second to Haagen Dazs.”

And while I don’t think I necessary buzzed about my apartment any slower, per se, than I might have otherwise not immobilized by hurt knees and dead car batteries and clogged sinks, I feel like I took a different look at my life. I changed the routine, and therein found a few of the most fun and reflective days I’ve had in some time. Maybe slowing down meant spending time with myself, just doing seemingly normal, verging on mundane things. Nonetheless, they.were.wonderful.

I felt at home in more ways than one.

And truth? I still cooked despite the drain derailing me. I took my sweet sweet time making a dish that felt and tasted special. A meal to be savored slowly and peacefully with the man I love, in the apartment I cleaned, in the city that inspires me, on the coast that has claimed me for the next couple years, in the best year of my life thus far.

Scampi Stuffed Roasted Shrimp.

I originally tasted these shrimp two months ago, when I went to a cooking demonstration hosted by Silvana Nardone, the author of the wonderful cookbook, Cooking with Isaiah, and the former editor-in-chief of Rachael Ray Magazine. They were one of the three dishes she served, and I’ve not been able to forget about them since. That’s saying something. Since I work in food, write about food, cook like my life depends upon it, I come across so many recipes that I want to try my hand at. These surpassed all of those recipes and landed at the top of my must make list…and I’m so glad they did.

Quite honestly, these shrimp are the most wildly flavorful bites I’ve had in a long, long time. They’re petite, but only in size; the flavor is absolutely bursting from lemon, the brightness of parsley, savory notes of garlic and tender chunks of shrimp meat, and a lovely bready heft from finely crushed Rice Krispies. Savory married to succulent.

I love that their cute pink tails stick straight up in a sophisticated, elegant way.

If you love shrimp turned scampi, turned stuffed and baked, turned lusciously olive oiled and roasted, then this is a dish for you.

Start by making the shrimp filling. Peel, devein, and then finely chop 1 lb of medium or large sized shrimp. You want the pieces very small so that they blend well with other filling ingredients.

Mix the shrimp with finely crushed crispy rice cereal (a la Rice Krispies), panko bread crumbs, or traditional bread crumbs. Any style works well here. Add 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, 2 cloves of garlic, a dash of hot red pepper flakes, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup sour cream. Use your hands to work all ingredients into a uniform and well blended ball.

Now prepare the jumbo sized shrimp for stuffing. You’ll need about sixteen of them if you plan to serve four people. These, too, should be peeled and deveined, but be sure to leave the tails on for presentation. Butterfly them by running a sharp knife along that curved indentation that runs down the backsides of the shrimp. You’re not cutting all the way through, just far enough in so that you can open and spread the bottom of the shrimp out into a wide circle.

See? You want the tail end to stick up and arc over. The cut side should be split and facing down on your cutting board, almost creating a little lap for the filling. Place these prepared shrimp on a baking sheet that has been well greased with olive oil. Preheat your oven to 425°F.

Now take tablespoons of the filling mixture and mound it onto the laps of the jumbo shrimp, pressing so that the mixture stays in one clump when you take your hand away. Repeat this process with all remaining shrimp and filling, laying each on that greased baking sheet. Brush each prepared shrimp with a light coating of olive oil and set the pan in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the shrimp is pink and opaque.

I recommend serving the shrimp with lemon slices and a sprinkling of fresh parsley. I also think it would be nice to serve each individual shrimp on a lemon slice if you were to serve them as an appetizer. I love that style of presentation.

Scampi-Stuffed Roasted Shrimp

recipe adapted from Cooking for Isaiah by Silvana Nardone

(serves 4)


For the filling:

1 lb medium or large shrimp, peeled, deveined and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup sour cream

1 cup breadcrumbs- panko, finely crushed crisp rice cereal, any kind is fine

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon turmeric

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley

salt and pepper

Remaining ingredients:

16 jumbo shrimp- (about 1 lb)peeled, deveined, and butterflied

2 tablespoons olive oil

Lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat your oven to 425°F.

Start by making the shrimp filling. Peel, devein, and then finely chop 1 lb of medium or large sized shrimp. You want the pieces very small so that they blend well with other filling ingredients.

Mix the shrimp with finely crushed crispy rice cereal (a la Rice Krispies), panko bread crumbs, or traditional bread crumbs. Any style works well here. Add 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, 2 cloves of garlic, a dash of hot red pepper flakes, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup sour cream. Use your hands to work all ingredients into a uniform and well blended ball.

Now prepare the jumbo sized shrimp for stuffing. You’ll need about sixteen of them if you plan to serve four people. These, too, should be peeled and deveined, but be sure to leave the tails on for presentation. Butterfly them by running a sharp knife along that curved indentation that runs down the backsides of the shrimp. You’re not cutting all the way through, just far enough in so that you can open and spread the bottom of the shrimp out into a wide circle.

You want the tail end to stick up and arc over. The cut side should be split and facing down on your cutting board, almost creating a little lap for the filling. Place these prepared shrimp on a baking sheet that has been well greased with olive oil.

Now take tablespoons of the filling mixture and mound it onto the laps of the jumbo shrimp, pressing so that the mixture stays in one clump when you take your hand away. Repeat this process with all remaining shrimp and filling, laying each on that greased baking sheet. Brush each prepared shrimp with a light coating of olive oil and set the pan in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the shrimp is pink and opaque.

I recommend serving the shrimp with lemon slices and a sprinkling of fresh parsley. I also think it would be nice to serve each individual shrimp on a lemon slice if you were to serve them as an appetizer.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather (Heather's Dish) January 10, 2011 at 11:50 am

i love this different take on the traditional shrimp scampi! it sounds delicious, and I can just taste the butter, garlic, lemon, and breadcrumbs :)

Reply

Michelle @ a whole lot of life January 10, 2011 at 12:02 pm

This post was so funny! I totally identified with everything you wrote, except the shrimp part ;) I just can’t stomach the stuff and its chewy texture, but you still managed to make it look delicious.

My favorite line was “A person who would like to write a book on multitasking…while blow drying her hair, brushing her teeth, and making origami simultaneously.” haha! I could totally see myself doing the same thing.

Can’t wait to read the next thing you cook up. Have a great day, Andrea!

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Patti January 8, 2012 at 9:31 pm

I, too, think the article was HILARIOUS and one I could COMPLETELY relate to!! Thanks so much for the entertainment!!

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Naomi January 10, 2011 at 12:05 pm

this looks so delish, i will definitely be making it!

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Lu January 10, 2011 at 12:11 pm

This looks amazing! I love that you wrote about your forced reflective period. It’s nice when those pop up. I’m contemplating taking a day off of work just because I would have the house to myself. I relish the days before there were toys all over my floor. Ironically though I wouldn’t change the mess-maker for anything. Maybe I can take a personal day with the excuse of I have to bake brownies. I’m self-medicating. These shrimp would be for my next day off.

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KatieG January 10, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Shrimp…lemon….garlic…..nom nom nom….

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Rachel @ Grateful Girl Goes Gluten Free January 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Wow those look unbelievable. Seriously too good.

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MelissaNibbles January 10, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Life literally made you slow down…I wish my life would! The shrimp look great and I love your nail polish.

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Jenn @ Cooking Aweigh the Pounds January 10, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Oh my! I just found the perfect Valentine’s dinner for me and my husband! Thank you so much!

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M.J. Jacobsen January 10, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Life in the slow lane, sounds good sometimes!
This recipe looks sooooo good! I was telling my husband about deconstructing recipes yesterday, and today I showed him this one. He really loves shrimp and wants me to make this. Then he asked if this is one of those decomposing recipes…….don’t know why I try sometimes!

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Stephanie @cookinfanatic January 10, 2011 at 6:55 pm

What gorgeous presentation!! These shrimp look absolutely amazing!!! I definitely have trouble slowing down too – always looking for the next thing to do while performing the current task. My boyfriend always asks me why I can’t just “do nothing and relax” and it’s so hard to explain how doing that would be work in itself for me (he seems to have no trouble with it however ;) )

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Cindy January 11, 2011 at 8:55 am

I love to make amazing bite sized eats for just me and my husband when the Teenager with the voracious appetite is away.

I just printed this….thinking as I did most of last year…should I commit to making everything you post for one year????

I should really….my life would be changed forever.

xoxoxo

Reply

Can You Stay for Dinner January 11, 2011 at 9:01 am

Hahahaha, I love that! Double dare you? xoxo

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biz319 January 11, 2011 at 11:58 am

I grew up in the era of Quincy, Medical Examiner. I told my Mom when I was about 8 that I wanted to be a medical examiner, and an interior decorator, so that I could decorate my medical examiner office!

It’s nice to shake things up a bit! And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this recipe – this is going straight to the top of my recipes to make! Hugs!

Reply

Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life January 11, 2011 at 12:31 pm

wow-that looks amazing!

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Kace January 12, 2011 at 10:03 am

Wow….those look incredible. Also intimidating, but maybe I’ll give them a shot sometime.

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Ani Vuolo July 20, 2011 at 10:46 am

This does look amazing and what is the name of your divine looking nail polish?

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Dee August 22, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Hi, I’m new to your Blog and loving it so far, I can’t tear myself away! Curious if you know the Nutrition info for this recipe, not that anything would stop me from making it, it sounds incredible!

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Beth March 4, 2012 at 9:55 pm

My mother-in-law made these tonight. They were quite delicious. Thank you for posting

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Janice May 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm

This made the best meal I’ve prepared in a LONG time!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks, and YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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WANDA September 10, 2014 at 1:24 pm

I LOVE YOUR HUMOR. ALSO YOUR RECUIPES.
AS SOO AS I GET THE SHRIMP MAKING THIS.
THNK YOU, WANDA

Reply

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