Shrimp are delicate and can easily become overdone and tough when cooked for too long, making them particularly difficult to prepare in advance and reheat. Boasting high protein and low fat, this healthy shellfish is a perfect option for your party, but should be made directly before serving for the best quality. Prep your shrimp scampi in advance and cook it in the oven to save time and enjoy socializing at your party without worrying about the food.
Advance-Prep Shrimp Scampi
While it is not recommended to cook shrimp scampi in advance of a party, you can get all the prep work done the night before so all you have to do is slide a dish in the oven before serving at your party. Devein and peel shrimp the night before and toss with wine to coat. Mash garlic, cheese, parsley, lemon juice and red pepper flakes together with butter and season it well with salt and pepper. Arrange the shrimp in a large baking dish and add a teaspoon of butter to the top of each shrimp, spreading it to coat the shrimp. Cover the dish and refrigerate overnight.
Cooking Shrimp Scampi
On the day of the party, heat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the shrimp, uncovered for about 8 minutes, or until they are nearly cooked through. The cooking time will vary slightly based on the size of your shrimp. Remove the baking dish from the oven and turn on your broiler. Finish the shrimp under the broiler for about 2 minutes or until they are just beginning to brown and bubble. Serve immediately while still warm.
Serving Shrimp Scampi
Shrimp scampi is a great party food, as it can be served in different ways to suit your particular party type. Use it as an appetizer, serving it with baguette slices and lemon wedges for individual snacking or serve it atop a bed of fettuccine or other pasta for a more complete meal at a dinner party. Shrimp scampi's delicate seafood flavor pairs well with light and silky chardonnay as well as the equally as delicate Pinot Grigio.
Shrimp Scampi Tips
Preparing shrimp scampi is straightforward, but if done incorrectly, it can result in overcooked and tough shrimp. Be sure to keep a close watch on the clock for shrimp scampi that's tender and succulent. Always use fresh or thawed shrimp to better gauge the cooking time and doneness of your dish. Thaw frozen shrimp in a colander under running water for 10 to 15 minutes. Always peel and devein shrimp before use in shrimp scampi.
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