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Weekday dinner inspirations: baked shrimp scampi and other recipes

Mon | Baked and sauced

Baked Ravioli With Ricotta and Marinara starts the week off on a high, meatless note. Simmer a bag of frozen raviolis until just cooked. Drain and place in baking dish with a few generous scoops of tomato sauce. Dot with globs of ricotta cheese and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. If you have fresh basil, sprinkle some over the melange after it comes out of the oven. Serve with a green salad full of veggies and bulked up with garbanzo beans, plus soft bread sticks.

Tues | Barefoot and delicious

I adore the Barefoot Contessa's Baked Shrimp Scampi (recipe below). Yes, there's a lot of butter, but some gets left in the pan. Serve with rice and a green vegetable to assuage your guilt.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Curried Chicken Pitas are a quick way to refashion your rotisserie chicken. Start by warming 1 1/4 teaspoons curry powder in a skillet. Let cool and mix with 1/2 cup plain yogurt or mayonnaise. (The former will give you more tang.) Add to 2 cups shredded chicken along with chopped scallions and celery and dried cranberries. Stuff in pita halves lined with lettuce. Sweet slices of melon on the side.

Thurs | Beaned and beautiful

Throw something on the grill to serve with this Balsamic Beans side dish from Food Network mag. Cook a few slices of bacon in a saucepan until slightly crisp. Add 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 can crushed tomatoes and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and add 1 can drained and rinsed white beans, 2 tablespoons each honey and balsamic vinegar, a few shakes of dried thyme and a pinch of crushed red peppers. Simmer until thick, about 20 minutes. Get fancy with chopped parsley garnish.

Fri | Bistro and beefy

Start the weekend off right with a Beef Bistro Salad of cooked penne pasta, baby spinach leaves, chopped tomatoes and sliced cucumbers topped with slices of leftover steak. Dressing: ranch or sun-dried tomato vinaigrette.

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Baked Shrimp Scampi

2 pounds (12 to 15 per pound) shrimp in the shell

3 tablespoons good olive oil

2 tablespoons dry white wine

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 teaspoons minced garlic

(4 cloves)

1/4 cup minced shallots

3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 extra-large egg yolk

2/3 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)

Lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Peel, devein and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture.

In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until combined.

Starting from the outer edge of a 14-inch oval gratin dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer, cut side down with the tails curling up and toward the center of the dish. Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under the broiler for 1 minute. Serve with lemon wedges.

Serves 6.

Source: Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter, 2008)

Weekday dinner inspirations: baked shrimp scampi and other recipes 11/02/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 4:30am]
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