I love shrimp, I love garlic, I love crushed red peppers, and I love to grill, so when I came across this recipe for a grilled shrimp scampi, I was sold. When Colleen and I began talking before our first date, she told me she liked seafood (especially shrimp and scallops) and liked grilled food, and liked to keep meals as healthy as possible, I dug this one out of my recipe folder and made it for her on our first date! It was (obviously) a tremendous success, and it has become a staple for us ever since. And since our first date was for the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in 2008, I thought it was appropriate to post this one for the beginning of the Winter Olympics in 2010. Add in that it is Valentine’s weekend, and it just seems like the perfect time to share this romantic meal.
I originally found it at allrecipes.com a couple of years ago, but we have recently slightly re-jiggered the recipe to make it even healthier (or at least, more Weight Watchers friendly) than it was before, and after trying it recently in this new configuration, I’m pleased to report it was as good as ever.
It’s good for anyone, but I’m speaking from experience when I say that any dude looking to impress a chick should definitely take heed.
If you don’t have a grill, you could use a broiler instead. But really, if you don’t have at least a portable propane grill, or a Smokey Joe charcoal grill or something, what the hell? Fix this problem immediately, if not sooner. (2014 NOTE: In the years since I first wrote this post, I have stopped using the skewers and just use a grill wok or grill pan–it saves a lot of prep time).
If you divide this into four portions, you get 7 or 8 shrimp per person, for what Colleen tells me is 4 Weight Watchers points. I serve them with pasta (usually whole wheat angel hair) tossed with just enough extra marinade (heat it in a saucepan or just make extra) above (or just olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes) to keep it from sticking together, and some decent salad (none of that iceberg lettuce crap). You can also add a decent bread if you wish, but the bread adds extra points, as does the pasta.
BTW, you can grill scallops in the same way with great results. I did both shrimp and scallops for our first date, and she ended up marrying me! So be careful who you use this on, because clearly this awesome food carries awesome power, and therefore must be used responsibly.
- 1 lb. large shrimp (I usually get 26-30, but will go up or down a size, depending on what is on sale or looks good)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp lemon juice (approximately one lemon)
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (we grow our own, but you can buy it at the store if you aren’t quite as cool as us)
- 2 tbsp minced garlic (4-6 cloves)
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper–original recipe said it was optional “to taste”. We like more rather than less
- ½ tsp black pepper–original recipe said to taste
- 1 c. cooked whole wheat pasta
- ½ tsp. olive oil
- minced garlic, to taste
- lemon, to taste
- parsley, for garnish
- Stir together olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, red pepper, and black pepper, from the scampi ingredients. I usually mix it straight into a Ziplock.
- De-shell and de-vein shrimp, and add to bag of marinade, let sit for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Thread shrimp on skewers. You can run them through only once if you want, but it is definitely easier to turn them on the grill if you run them through twice on the skewer to hold them on better. I use longish metal skewers that will hold about 8 shrimp, but you can use the wood ones if you want (just remember to soak the wood ones in advance for 30 minutes or so to keep them from catching on fire once put on the grill). OPTIONAL METHOD: Don't use skewers at all, and do them in a non-stick grill wok or grill pan instead.
- Grill on high heat for 3-5 minutes per side, or until they start to turn orange/pink. It is way easier to overcook shrimp than to undercook them, so keep a good eye on them.
- Toss all pasta ingredients together.
- Serve shrimp over pasta.