The most mysterious shrimp scampi!!!!

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black chef

Senior Cook
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Jul 2, 2006
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383
ok, i'm about to give-up on cooking altogether if i can't figure this one out.

ingredients:

1. 2 lbs fresh gulf shrimp
2. 1/2 cup dry vermouth
3. juice of one lemon
4. crushed red pepper flakes
5. 4 cloves garlic sliced razor thin
6. one half shallot sliced razor thin
7. frantoia evoo
8. smith creamery butter
9. Salt & Pepper
10. 2-3 T chopped fresh parsely.

directions:

1. into a med-high skillet, add 2 T evoo + 2 T butter melted
2. add-in garlic, shallot & red pepper flakes and saute for 30 sec.
3. add the shrimp and cook about 2 min on one side, 1 min. on the other.
4. remove the shrimp and add-in the vermouth & lemon juice.

ok, here's where things went weird... i tasted the sauce: it was a wonderful garlic-y, lemony flavor.

5. reduce the sauce to half. adjust salt & pepper.
6. add-in 2 T evoo & swirl-in 2 T butter slowly.
7. return the shrimp to the pan, toss, and add-in the parsely.

all is well, still.

8. and just for kicks, i added-in like... 1/2 tsp of fresh ground nutmeg

now, GUESS WHAT???

I LOST ALL FLAVORS!!!! i lost the taste of shrimp, lemon, garlic, parsely, etc. this scampi ended-up tasting just like a glass of water.

seriously, i can't taste ANYTHING.

what in the world happened???? somebody please help!!!!

BTW, i'm willing to learn a new recipe if anyone has one.
 

Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
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Sep 1, 2004
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49,838
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Massachusetts
Make it again without the nutmeg. A half teaspoon is a huge amout of nutmeg. I would not add nutmeg to this recipe.
 

kitchenelf

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I put just a PINCH of nutmeg in a HUGE pot of soup - 1/2 tsp. is a huge amount for what you have in your skillet. I also wouldn't add any nutmeg at all to this dish. Nutmeg is more suited to something with cream in it IMHO.

I think your nutmeg canceled everything else out.
 

black chef

Senior Cook
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
383
I put just a PINCH of nutmeg in a HUGE pot of soup - 1/2 tsp. is a huge amount for what you have in your skillet. I also wouldn't add any nutmeg at all to this dish. Nutmeg is more suited to something with cream in it IMHO.

I think your nutmeg canceled everything else out.

agreed.

but i took the advice of a local italian chef i know here in houston, and he suggested just a pinch of nutmeg at the end...

maybe it was a bit too much.

oh well.

IT'S A GOOD THING I CAN GET FRESH 21/25 SHRIMP HERE AT HOME, NEVER FROZEN, FOR $4.99 PER LB.

otherwise, i'd be mad!! very mad.
 

kitchenelf

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Yea, I think a pinch might have been ok - but not 1/2 tsp. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the nutmeg though. That's just me though. I'm glad you have shrimp available! You could always add some cream and see what happens. Or you can turn it into a cream of shrimp soup :chef:
 

black chef

Senior Cook
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
383
Yea, I think a pinch might have been ok - but not 1/2 tsp. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the nutmeg though. That's just me though. I'm glad you have shrimp available! You could always add some cream and see what happens. Or you can turn it into a cream of shrimp soup :chef:

out of all the italian cooking i've done over the years, believe it or not, this was my very first time cooking shrimp scampi.

i've always considered it an appetizer but recently, i had it at an italian place here in houston over pasta... and i liked it. there was a slight roasted taste going on, so i asked the sous chef what it was...

he said, "it's a family secret." so i smiled and asked again, and he told me... it's a touch of nutmeg... about 1/2 tsp or so. maybe that 1/2 tsp was for an entire 16 qt pot full and not for a 2-meal serving.

regardless, it's time to try again...

any recipes?
 

kitchenelf

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LOLOLOLOL - yea, he didn't tell you his 1/2 tsp. went into a serving for 20 :LOL:

There are so many recipes out there but they are all basically the same.

I saute some garlic and shallots in some oo and butter. Add your shrimp and salt/pepper and remove from pan (you know to undercook them slightly). Add some more butter (sometimes I add more oil too) and white wine. When butter is melted add back shrimp, heat, and right before serving toss in some fresh parsley.

I have also used Champagne/sparkling brut in this - it just turns into still wine so just use a still wine to begin with and save the bubbly for your tummy! The flavor was awesome but I LOVE Champagne too much to cook with it!

That's about it. I have a horrendous headache so I could have missed something in this description - if I did I'm terribly sorry......but not like the chef who gave you that recipe! :LOL: Of course, taste and adjust seasonings before serving!

If there is not quite enough sauce to your satisfaction just drizzle a bit of olive oil in your pasta on your plate.

You can also top this with some steamed clams - YUMMY!
 

Michael in FtW

Master Chef
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Too much nutmeg can mask other flavors ... the chef said a "touch" of nutmeg - I would say you gave it a full right hook KO!

Now, I can't understand the dish tasting "like a glass of water..", or "seriously, i can't taste ANYTHING." It should have tasted like nutmeg.

Since it seemed to be tasking fine up until the moment you added the nutmeg - try it again and either leave out the nutmeg or just use a very small pinch.

Also - are you on any medications? Some medications can alter the perception of some flavors. I know this was a problem when Dad was on a lot of medications ... and then cooking for my step-mom for the next 13 years as her medications changed and her taste perception changed due to her mids.
 

jennyema

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I think nutmeg is all wrong in shrimp scampi, personally. Alfredo and some other Italian sauces but not scampi. IMO nutmeg is for richer preparations. Scampi, with the lemon juice is supposed to be bright and not heavy and rich.

Anyway, in addition to cutting out (or way down on) the nutmeg, I'd not add olive oil at the end, just butter. 2T of extra virgin olive oil can add (IMO) an unwanted flvor element, depending on the oil you are using. Mounting a sauce with butter at the end is a common technique. I'd stick to butter only.
 

velochic

Sous Chef
Joined
Sep 2, 2004
Messages
874
Location
Midwest
Maybe the chef was pulling your leg when he told you nutmeg. If it really was a family secret, I doubt that you would have gotten it out of him that easily.
 

black chef

Senior Cook
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
383
Maybe the chef was pulling your leg when he told you nutmeg. If it really was a family secret, I doubt that you would have gotten it out of him that easily.

more secrets are in the cemetery than in the cookbooks.

and that is unfortunate.
 
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