Shrimp Scampi

4/1/2021 – This was a great dish inspired by the recipe at Rouses. The recipe at Rouses has more steps in the last half of the process from the point where we added the butter well before they do. All that could make a difference. We enjoyed it a lot this way and it seemed to make sense to saute the shrimp in the wine/shell brine, garlic, and peppers. It also made sense to not whip out the great flavors from the sauteed shells in the wine.

This was the first time to brine shrimp and perhaps that contributed to their being perfectly cooked. Perhaps the salt held in the water as it does with beef and pork thereby giving more latitude in the cooking time so they do not overcook so easily.


  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ pounds head/shell-on, extra-large, wild-caught raw Gulf shrimp (26 to 30 per pound)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups of dry white wine
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Used 2 frozen cubes of juice from our lemon trees.
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 8 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper, rounded
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1+ tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley from our garden
  • Baguettes or Rouses French bread loaf, sliced, for serving, buttered, and lightly toasted.


  1. Head, peel, and devein shrimp. Set shells and tails aside.
  2. Dissolve salt and sugar in a quart of cold water with ice cubes to keep the shrimp cold in a large container. Place cleaned shrimp in the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes. Ours brined for a couple of hours,
  3. Remove shrimp from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. We did not do this.
  4. Mix lemon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl.
  5. Heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil in a No. 11 castiron skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add shrimp shells and tails and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to turn spotty brown and the bottom of the skillet starts to brown, 2 to 4 minutes.
  6. Remove skillet from heat and slowly pour in the wine. Add the thyme sprigs. When bubbling subsides, return the skillet to medium heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  7. With a slotted spoon removed shells and thyme and reserve liquid.
  8. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, parsley, pepper flakes, and pepper over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is fragrant and just beginning to brown at edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Add reserved wine mixture, increase heat to high, and bring to a simmer.
  9. Stir in butter until it melts.
  10. Add the drained shrimp, stir.
  11. Add lemon juice–cornstarch mixture, and cook until slightly thickened but only long enough for the shrimp to be crunchy; i.e. do not overcook them.
  12. Remove from the hot skillet and serve.
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