Sunday, April 19, 2015

Garlicky Lobster Crab Scampi #NationalGarlicDay

Lots of garlic, butter and olive oil make this rich lobster and crab dish perfect for serving on a special occasion. Or when you just want to treat yourself. No lobster? Substitute shrimp or prawns!

The summer I was eight years old, we moved from Trinidad to Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, a distance not far as the crow flies, the commercial flight taking only one hour and 20 minutes, but it was a dizzying transfer from a cozy oil field camp on a relatively provincial island to a quick paced city of high rise buildings and busy downtown streets where folks spoke a foreign tongue. And you had to know that language to read the signs, packaging in stores and to order safely from a menu. While our house was being readied for move-in, we stayed first in a high-rise hotel and then in a serviced apartment just a few blocks from an Italian restaurant called Da Pippo’s. We ate there several times a week. Funny how memories can be elusive, but I don’t really remember what I used to order. Perhaps it was something normal like pizza or spaghetti, so unremarkable that it escaped recording in my long-term brain cells, but my older sister was consistent.

She got the shrimp scampi every single time. It was loaded with garlic and butter and oil, shelled pink shrimp drowning in that nectar of delight. I don’t recall if she ever shared a shrimp, but sometimes she’d let me dip a piece of the complimentary bread in there. Heaven. Now you are probably asking yourself why I didn’t just order my own shrimp scampi and I wish I had a good answer for you. I do wonder that myself. But the good memories made sure that I have recreated that dish more than a few times over the intervening years. A little research corrected my misheld assumption that scampi was merely the Italian word for shrimp. It can also mean a dish prepared with garlic butter so occasionally, I vary the seafood, using lobster or crab alone or in combination with the shrimp. But there’s always plenty of garlic and butter and olive oil.

You might remember that last year about this time, I was celebrating National Garlic Day with my friend, Heather from girlichef, and 13 more garlic loving food bloggers. I made a slow roasted lamb shoulder with 40 cloves of garlic that just fell off the bones, it was so tender! Well, we are at it again! And I couldn’t think of a better recipe to share than one I created with Da Pippo's shrimp scampi in mind. Feel free to substitute shrimp for the lobster and/or the crab. And make sure you scroll down to see all the great garlicky recipes my friends have made for you today.

Ingredients for two very generous servings
1/4 cup or 60g butter
1/4 cup or 60ml olive oil
15 cloves or 60g garlic
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup or 120ml dry white wine
1/2 - 1 teaspoon cayenne (depending on your taste)
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
Juice of 1/2 lemon
12 1/3 oz or 350g lobster tail meat
1/2 cup or 110g fresh crabmeat
Sea salt to taste.

To serve: spinach fettuccine pasta, cooked to manufacturer’s instructions or some crusty bread, sliced, heaping your scampi on.

To garnish: Few sprigs cilantro or flat leaf parsley

Melt the butter along with the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Mince your garlic and add it to the pan or push it through a garlic press directly into the melted butter and olive oil. Cook for a minute or two until fragrant. Be very careful not to let the garlic burn or it will turn bitter.

Whisk in the Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, whole grain mustard and white wine. Simmer for about five minutes.

Slice your lobster tail.

And add it to the sauce. Cook it just long enough for the meat to turn white, mere minutes.

Add in the crabmeat and cook until it is just warmed through.

Squeeze in the lemon juice and give everything a gentle stir.

Add salt to taste then serve over spinach pasta for extra color. Or alongside some fresh crusty bread.

Garnish with a few sprigs of cilantro or flat leaf parsley.


Welcome to National Garlic Day 2015, hosted by Heather from girlichef. April 19th is a day for garlic lovers far and wide to come together and celebrate the wonder of "the stinking rose." Whether it's the ability to ward off vampires (and bugs), its numerous health benefits, or the way it lends flavor to a dish, there are so many reasons for singing the praises of garlic.

To help you get in the mood, check out these garlicky good recipes from this year's National Garlic Day bloggers:

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