Summertime, and the living is easy, fish are jumping and the birds gotta fly………
It was hot outside today. By the time I came downstairs, at 7:45, it was already 78 degrees outside and getting warmer by the minute. I wanted something healthy, quick cooking so I wouldn’t heat up the kitchen too much, and tasty. So, I reached into my grab bag of recipes and read through my freezer inventory to figure out what we were having. I have the luxury of having a household of people who will eat just about anything, and have the respect and courtesy to tell me honestly what they like and don’t so I can refine recipes before I post them here.
So, tonight I made Shrimp and Scallop Scampi. This is a great dish to make. It’s quick and easy, and can be made for one or for a crowd. Prep time is about 10 to 15 minutes, and cook time is about 7 minutes. It is one of the few meals I’ve made in a while that actually took more time to eat than to cook. LOL A simple rule of thumb for this recipe: 1 zucchini, 3 oz. shrimp, 3 oz. scallops per person — I wouldn’t increase the liquids or seasonings unless I was making more than 6 portions, then I would just double the liquids and lemon zest, but use 1 1/2 times the parsley, grated cheese and red pepper flakes.
Let’s rock and roll.
- 1 medium zucchini per person, spiralized (I recommend taking a knife and cutting thru the pile of noodles 1 time, to cut them in half. This will make them easier to serve)
- 12 oz. raw shrimp, shelled and vein cleaned. I used 31-40/# size
- 12 oz. raw scallops, side muscle removed and cut in half creating circles rather than half moons – this is to ensure they cook in the same time needed for the shrimp
- 1 large shallot, peeled and sliced thin (1/4 C red onion can be substituted)
- 2 cloves or garlic crushed, or 1 heaping tsp. of prepared garlic
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp. lemon zest (zest of 1 lemon)
- 2 tbsp. fresh parsley OR 1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
- 2 tbsp. grated pecorino romano cheese (use rounded tablespoons)
- 2 to 3 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice ( juice of the lemon you just zested)
- 1/4 C dry or semi dry white wine (do not use cooking wine which has salt added). If you can’t drink it; don’t cook with it, please.
- 1/2 C low sodium, low fat chicken broth
- 2 tbsp. sweet butter
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
NOTE: You’ll notice there is no additional salt or black pepper in this recipe. Please taste it before you add any. The amount of sodium in the scallops, shrimp and cheese and flavors from the wine and seasonings precludes, in my opinion, the need for any additional salt and pepper.
DIRECTIONS: Get everything prepped and ready to go, as this dish cooks really quickly.
Here we go.
In a large skillet (you could also use a large wok), over medium heat, melt the butter and the olive oil. Using the combination will keep the butter from browning and changing the flavor of the dish.
First thing we’ll add to the dish, is the garlic, red pepper flakes and shallots. Saute these, still over medium heat until the shallots are softened but the garlic is not browned. This will take only a minute or two, and will infuse the fats and shallots with the capsaicin from the red pepper flakes, giving the entire dish a “bite” without bitterness.
Now add the scallops and shrimp to the pan, spreading them out. They will cook quickly. The shrimp will turn from grey to pink and the scallops from that translucent white to a nice solid white color. You’ll need to turn each piece just once and they will probably cook as quickly as you can turn them over.
Add the liquids next – the white wine, chicken broth and lemon juice and bring it to a simmer. Since the pan and everything in it is already hot, this will take a minute or less.
Now add the zoodles to the pan.
Using tongs or a sporket, toss the noodles in with the shrimp and scallops and cook for just a minute or two, until the zoodles just begin to soften. Do not overcook them or they will turn to mush, and truthfully, the seafood will turn to rubber. Not a pleasant combination.
Finally, add the lemon zest, parsley and grated cheese over the top and toss one last time.
Start to finish – 10 minutes prep time, about 7 minutes to cook. Serve and enjoy.
This is a wonderful dish. You’ll find the zoodles can be twirled just like spaghetti, and this dish has a couple of things going for it. If you’re following Weight Watcher’s Points, 1/4 of this dish is just 3 points. For those of you counting calories, I used the Very Well Calorie Calculator, and found that 1/4 of this dish is 388 calories, , 6.2 g of fat, 1.4 g of which is saturated, 530 mg Cholesterol, 937 mg Sodium, 870 mg. Potassium, 11.4 g of Carbs, 2.4 g of dietary fiber, 3.9 g of sugars, and 7.8 g of Protein.
Now comes the fun part. We finished this dish tonight, but there was almost a pint of the delicious sauce left over. Tomorrow night I’m steaming mussels for dinner in the same sauce and serving the mussels with a nice salad and French bread. If I were not using it immediately, I would freeze it to maintain it’s integrity. Having been cooked with the shrimp and scallops, it would spoil quickly in the fridge.
And finally, for those of you who do not care for shrimp and scallops, this dish, or effectively something similar (chicken piccate), could be made with chicken. Everything in the dish would remain the same except, of course, substituting chicken for the shrimp & scallops. My variation would include the addition of 8 oz large mushrooms, sliced, 1 1/2# of thin sliced chicken breast cut into bite size pieces, and 1 tbsp. of drained capers. I would start the dish the same way, shallot, garlic, red pepper flakes, then add the mushrooms and brown them, then the chicken to cook. After the liquids are added I would add the capers followed by the zoodles and seasonings, Same technique; slightly different dish, but it would reduce the sodium and cholesterol in the dish considerably.
I will definitely make this again and would love to hear comments/questions/suggestions from any of you who follow my blog and try this recipe. ENJOY!