I grew up in a very small town in Southwestern PA. Very. Small. The kind of small town where the “fancy” restaurant is The Red Lobster (always pronounced as The Red Lobster because there can be only one.) that you had to travel 1/2 an hour to get to. One of my very favorite things to get at The Red Lobster was the scampi.
I always felt a little decadent and grown up eating scampi. I mean after all it did have wine in it right? It said so right on the menu! You have to be mature to handle a dish like that, or so I told myself. And when the pathetic little dish of scampi arrived with the overcooked super tiny balls of shrimp, I was in heaven. And you best believe I ate all that sauce too. “Come ‘ere cheddar biscuits and help a sister out!”
Please, don’t even front and act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. You have all been to The Red Lobster and you all can dig on what I’m saying.
As I became older and properly mature (Am too!), I decided it was time to branch out and start making my own scampi-type dish. Thankfully I have a husband who loves seafood and so he has been my guinea pig for quite some time. In this dish, I have combined things I love:
- Chopped tomatoes and red onion
However, I like to think my dish is slightly healthier than a traditional scampi because traditional scampi has a load of butter in it (I’m talking sticks of butter here) where mine does not. Oh there’s butter, because I fully believe that butter and seafood are meant to be together. I just don’t use sticks of it.
Andrea’s Shrimp and Scallops with garlic wine sauce
- 10oz of fresh scallops (about 8 medium sized)
- 12oz of fresh shrimp (about 18 medium)
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, grated (yes you read that right)
- 1/4 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 beefsteak tomatoes, seeded and chopped (or 3-4 romas)
- 3 peperoncinis, chopped
- 3/4 C -1C white wine
- 1/2 TBSP of butter
- 1 1/2 TBSP of olive oil
- Sea salt, ground black pepper, pinch red pepper flakes
- Italian seasoning blend
- Chopped parsley and grated Parmesan for garnish
Make sure all the seafood is patted dry with papertowels. Remove the shells, including the tail part, from the shrimp. Either discard or save for stock purposes. Remove the little conductor muscle on the scallops. Sprinkle scallops with ground black pepper and sea salt on each side. Just a pinch. In a large deep sided skillet, heat 1/2 TBSP of oil over medium heat. Add the scallops and brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from skillet. Add the remaining olive oil and the butter to the skillet. Then add in the red onion, peperoncinis, and a pinch of red pepper flakes (how much depends on how much heat you want). Season that with a little more salt, pepper, and the Italian seasoning blend. Just a pinch of salt and pepper, and about 1/2 a tsp of Italian seasoning. Cook until the red onions just begin to soften. Add in the grated garlic and stir, then add in the wine. Don’t dilly dally after adding the garlic, as it will burn quickly. Also, be careful here adding alcohol to heat. You can remove the pan from the heat source for this and then return it immediately. Stir the mixture and bring to a simmer. Add in the shrimp, allowing the shrimp to cook in the sauce. After about a minute, add in the scallops and chopped tomatoes. Let dish simmer for about 3 minutes. Giving the shrimp time to cook and the scallops and tomatoes to heat through. The shrimp is cooked when it turns pink, this does not take long. The scallops will finish cooking as they are heating back up.
Remove and serve in a deep wide bowl or large pasta plate. Garnish with chopped parsley and parm cheese. Serve immediately and with plenty of crusty bread for dipping.
This is easily one of our favorite seafood dishes. It’s quick to make and easy enough that you can chat while you busy away in the kitchen. It makes for a great “date night” dish as well because you’re sharing a meal out of the same dish. I do recommend having little plates on hand that you can scoop out portions on to as you’re eating. Less risk of slopping on the table. Trust me on this!
If you don’t have sea salt, naturally you can use kosher instead. My preferred blend of Italian Seasoning is the Mrs. Dash variety. It has no salt, allowing me to control the salt amounts, and it has a decent blend of herbs. But use whatever you like and have on hand.
Since wine makes up the entire sauce base, pick a nice wine that you will drink. No cooking wine! That is loaded with salt and preservatives. Use regular and a dry one, no sweet wines. If wine is not your thing or you’re looking to not use as much, chicken stock or seafood stock can be used here as well.
We love garlic which is why I use 4-5 cloves of it but if you do not love it as much as us, feel free to reduce the amount. Or just add the whole cloves and then scoop them out at the end. The garlic flavor will be there, just not as intense. You can easily chop the garlic instead of grating. I personally feel that grating allows more of the flavor to come through.
Now you can be all mature and have a grownup seafood dish at home too!
Have fun guys! And remember, always play with your food!