Taste Test: Shrimp Scampi

So… I love using America’s Test Kitchen, and while watching one of their latest episodes, I happened across this recipe. Traditionally made with lots of butter (and you know that I don’t eat or use butter for anything), I decided to try it out.

So, being in a mostly Chinese household, the use of wine is that only of either a marinade or a sweet dessert dish called Jiu Niang, often in the form or a rice cooking wine. However, this recipe made allowances for these stringent rules. The recipe called for a cup of dry white wine.

DRY WHITE WINE! I have never even been that big of a wine fan, then again my family doesn’t drink it, but you can imagine the great confusion I experienced when trying to figure out what dry white wine was.

Well after looking at a couple of bottles – which thankfully had a little diagram on the back that described how dry they were, I finally figured it out! Obviously wine can’t literally be dry, but it simply refers to how much sugar is actually in the wine. This was complete news to me. Anyways, I found out that the best dry wines for white are pignot noir, sauvignon blanc, and unoaked chardonnay. I used sauvignon blanc… only because I had heard of it before. You want to pick something that is also between a 10%-13% alcohol content (don’t ask me why, that’s what I found in my research).

Maybe one day I will be a great wine connoisseur… or maybe not.

That was the wine adventure, now for the actual cooking. I mostly followed the recipe, mostly.

I may have accidentally evaporated all of my wine during the process because I forgot to turn the heat down to medium…..

However, no real harm came since I happened to have some chicken broth in my fridge! I poured in maybe 1/4 cup of chicken broth and it did pretty well in the recipe.

As for the other little substitution (or more like complete annihilation), I completely threw the butter out the window. *Hands raised* I know I might get some backlash for kicking the butter out of this recipe, but when dairy just doesn’t sit right for you anymore and trying to spend time to ind a suitable substitute isn’t convenient- I can’t believe it’s not butter! Does NOT count, it’s a gross and unhealthy solution. What did give that nice silkiness to the dish however, was the addition of some starch.

I would have never thought to combine lemon juice and starch, for some reason it never occurred to me to join the two, but it did wonders for my dish. Oh this was of course after I added the shrimp.

I swear this is relevant to the recipe, but the way you cut your garlic really changes the flavor and texture of your dish. For example, this recipe calls for 8 cloves or garlic, 8 CLOVES! That’s alot no matter how you cut it, but by slicing it (which is what the recipe calls for) it is actually much milder. So don’t be afraid of the garlic.

Okay, enough of my pointless ramblings about the fascinations of ingredients and techniques (I just can’t help myself sometimes!) the actual end product.

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So it ended up tasting very good! I may have added to much lemon but in the end it still turned out great! I used cilantro instead of parsley, since I like it better- but don’t go using parsley instead of cilantro or vice versa in every recipe, they are very different!

I would definitely make this again. I even kept the sauce and used it to cook some of my cauliflower in. Oh so good!

To see the original recipe click here.

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