I have to admit, I’ve kinda been holding onto this recipe for a while. I made it once when my mom was here, shortly after we moved into the new house and she gifted us (as one does) with two huge bags of jumbo shrimp. Then again for my in-laws when we visited them a couple of months later. And again for our good friends when they stayed with us for a weekend this summer.
Maybe twice for myself in between. Who’s counting.
But here’s the thing. On each of those occasions, Chris was either not home to enjoy the meal, or he elected to eat something else. He’s notoriously not-that-into-shrimp, so don’t feel too bad for him. He can make a mean salami sandwich — no one’s starving over here. But I stubbornly wanted to get his two cents on the recipe, and really, I wanted him to put one of these garlicky little buggers to his not-that-into-shrimp lips and come away dazzled. Dumbfounded. Forever turned.
So when he finally got around to trying one, and I was met with a “pretty good” reaction, I was, let’s say, disheartened. I will tell you: this is the tastiest, simplest and most foolproof shrimp recipe to ever go down in our kitchen. In my mind, this was The Shrimp for Shrimp Lovers and The Shrimp for Shrimp Leavers. Pretty good was…pretty disappointing. So I bumped the recipe down the list of musts to publish. Waxed poetic about watermelon instead. (No shade, I do still love me a watermelon salad.)
And then, you guys.
We had friends over, and I overheard Chris raving about the shrimp. RAVING!
Has Emily told you about this Hawaiian shrimp she’s been making? The shrimp truck knock-off? It’s…damn, it’s good…and I don’t even really like shrimp.
HA! I have been redeemed.
So here we are, a little late but worth the wait. The only shrimp recipe I will likely ever make from here on out. Inspired by (and a verrrrry close approximation of) the famously delicious, infamously garlicky shrimp scampi you find at Giovanni’s on Oahu’s North Shore or Maui’s Geste Shrimp Truck. Unfathomably savory, slicked with salted butter and scads of silky garlic bits. Plump and, dare I say, juicy. Deliriously messy to eat.
Which reminds me. For this recipe, you WILL buy that comically marketed EZ-PEEL shrimp with the shell on. You’re a little skeezed out — don’t be, I got you. You WILL bathe said shrimp in a veritable symphony of caramelized butter and (loads of) garlic, and then you WILL treat that shrimp like it’s your 8th grade crush and it’s just chosen you for Seven Minutes in Heaven. Then, and only then, may you liberate that crustacean babe from its cumbersome peel and proceed as usual. (Conversely, in this recipe, no one would fault you for eating the shrimp in the shells, either. Least of all me.)
Served with plenty of white rice (a given), a vegetable (if you must) and an aire of extreme confidence, this is The Shrimp for Shrimp Lovers and for Shrimp Leavers. And it might just be the last shrimp recipe you’ll ever need, too.
- 1 lb shell-on (often labeled "easy peel") jumbo (21/25) or extra jumbo (16/20) shrimp
- 1 T flour
- ½ T sweet paprika
- ½ tsp sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- ½ tsp cayenne (optional)
- 5 T salted butter
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 large head (15-20 cloves) fresh garlic
- lime, parsley and/or scallions, for serving
- In a medium bowl, combine shrimp, flour, paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne (if using). Toss to combine. Set aside for 30 mins. Peel garlic cloves and finely chop. I like a mini food processor for this task.
- When ready to cook shrimp, heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add garlic and heat slowly, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not allow the garlic to toast.
- When garlic is tender and very fragrant, increase heat to medium and add shrimp in a single layer. Saute for 2 mins per side, or until shrimp is no longer translucent. Immediately turn off flame and remove skillet from heat. Toss so shrimp is thoroughly coated in sauce.
- Serve shrimp with hot white rice (topped with plenty of extra garlicky butter from the pan), a wedge of lime, and a garnish of parsley or scallions, if desired. Enjoy!
We've also doubled this recipe with great success so long as your pan is sufficiently sized to saute the shrimp in a single layer. (An electric skillet works wonders if you're making this for a large crowd!)
OH! before you go…
Like whatcha see here — or have a question, feedback, or recipe hack to share? Join The Pig & Quill convo by commenting below and hanging out with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. And don’t forget to subscribe to P&Q emails or add me to your RSS reader with Feedly or Bloglovin’ so you never miss a post. x’s & o’s!