Tuesday, April 28, 2015

“Shrimp Scampi Florentine” For National Shrimp Scampi Day..Enjoy!

“National Shrimp Scampi Day” is celebrated tomorrow, on April 29th every year. The word Scampi suggests the cooking style of the shrimp in the United States. This Italian -American shrimp dish is prepared by sautéing the shrimp in butter or olive oil, with garlic, lemon juice, fresh parsley, and your favorite white wine, which is then placed over Linguine pasta. National Shrimp Scampi Day is an unofficial holiday of unknown origin. The Italian people have been cooking shrimp this way for many years from the 1920‘s.

Shrimp is America’s favorite seafood and tastes succulent and sweet. Shrimp is available, fresh all year-round and is an excellent source of protein. Naturally low in fat, carbohydrates, and calories which are an ideal choice for a low-carbohydrate diet. They are also a source of omega-3 fatty acid, which medical research shows may reduce the risk of heart disease. The average life cycle of a shrimp in is only 13 months or less. They reproduce rapidly, which is a good thing since so many people like to eat them. Female shrimp lay over a thousand eggs, which are attached to her swimming legs. Most shrimp release eggs offshore in deep water from early spring through early fall.

Here are some tips to help you purchase, safe handling, preparation, and cooking of shrimp:

  • Raw, headless and unpeeled shrimp: 1/3 pound per serving
  • Peeled and de-veined shrimp: 1/3 pound per serving
  • Two pounds of raw headless, unpeeled shrimp will yield 1 pound of cooked, peeled and de-veined shrimp
  • Remember to purchase seafood last and keep it cold during the trip home
  • Shrimp are available in a variety of fresh or fresh or frozen and can be sold by peeled, de-veined, or with the tail on.
  • Shrimp should have a mild aroma (similar to the ocean), tightly adhering shells and firm fresh
  • Store shrimp in the coldest part of your refrigerator at 32 degrees F. and use within two days, or freeze at 0 degrees F for up to six months
  • Keep raw and cooked seafood thoroughly wash knives, cutting surfaces, sponges and your hands with hot soapy water
  • Always marinade seafood in the refrigerator
  • Discard marinade; it contains raw juices which may harbor bacteria
  • When marinade is needed for basting reserve a portion before adding raw seafood
  • Shrimp are easily prepared by the following methods: boiled, broiled, baked, grilled, or fried.
 My recipe this week is my take on Scampi called: “Shrimp Scampi Florentine.” This delicious dish is made with fresh flavors of spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, spices, and sweet shrimp. I would also recommend a very aromatic bottle of "Vintner's Cuvée Sauvignon Blanc, 2008" from "Rosenblum Cellars" in California. This Sauvignon Blanc is crisp and has aromas of citrus, melon, and figs. Chill a bottle to share with friends over good conversation. This versatile wine makes the perfect complement for fresh green salads, especially topped with crab or shrimp. 

 "Please drink responsibly
Shrimp Scampi Florentine

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
Serves: about 4 people 

2 1/2 lbs of fresh spinach
2 oz. of unsalted butter
1 shallot
8 oz of button mushrooms
2 tomatoes, seeded, sliced thinly
Salt and fresh ground pepper
A pinch of Nutmeg
1/2 ounce of flour
1/2 pint of whole milk
1 ounce of grated Fontina cheese: (Mild provolone, Gruyere, or Gouda cheeses may all be substituted for Fontina, depending on your personal preference)
1 lb of cooked, de-veined, and shelled shrimp

Cooked Pasta of your choice  

Rinse the spinach well, removing any thick stalks, and put into sauce pan with a good pinch of salt. Cover and cook for about 3-5 minutes. In a small saucepan, heat half the butter. Chop the shallot finely and cook it in the butter until soft. Next, wipe and slice the mushrooms. Place in pan and cook with the shallots. Drain the spinach well and chop finely. Mix the shallots, mushrooms, and tomatoes with the spinach. Then add seasonings and a pinch of nutmeg. Place mixed ingredients into oven proof dish. Melt half the remaining butter in a saucepan and add the flour. Gradually stir in the milk, return the sauce to the heat and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Grate the cheese and add half to the sauce. Heat the remaining butter and quickly toss the shrimp over heat. Put the shrimp on top of the spinach mixture and cover with sauce. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over and brown quickly under a hot broiler. Serve immediately over pasta with a big tossed green salad, and a piece of crunchy Italian bread.  

Till Next Time……………………………

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  1. Never had a Shrimp Scampi Florentine. Love the idea! Really looks so good. Fun post -- thank you so much.

    1. Hi John,
      Thanks for visiting and for your comment. So glad that you like this recipe and post. Yes, the Shrimp Scampi Florentine is really good. As you know anything with spinach, mushrooms, shrimp, cheese and pasta (if you want), is awesome. Some of the tips are really good ones. I hope that you try this someday....have a great rest of the day!
      Dottie :)

  2. Oh I love scampi but I never tried the Florentine's recipe. Looks great!
    My son is particularly fond of prawns and scampi, in fact he is obsessed with shellfish.. just like me. When we are in Italy we go to the same fish restaurant and have lots and lots to eat: from clams, to prawns, langoustines, mussels, octopus... the more the better! Nice post Dottie xx

    1. Dear Alida,
      Scampi is one of my favorites and with the spinach, mushrooms, and cheese it really gives that extra flavor and texture. I have not had prawns, I don't think, but shrimps I have had many, many times. I am so glad that you and your son love shellfish. I love shellfish as well clam, shrimps, lobster, crabs, and mussels. Thanks for your comment and for visiting. Enjoy your day!
      Dottie :) xx