Spring means more lengthy, sun-kissed days are on the horizon. For many of us, it is a great time to treat our palates to a fresh new take on lighter classics.
Shrimp scampi is a great example. Rich and buttery, this Italian-American dish can be prepared in a variety of ways. Its origins in the U.S. began when immigrant cooks adapted Italian techniques to American ingredients. The recipe is open to interpretation, and our own version has become a best seller at The Kitchen at the new Quil Ceda Creek Casino — along with our suggested pairing of an islandtini.
The Kitchen is an exciting new casual dining venue we introduced when the new casino opened in February. Visitors have a large variety of options to choose from among seven stations within this food-hall experience. More than ever before, we have placed a great deal of focus on culinary excellence at The Q, including menu items spotlighting fresh, locally sourced ingredients prepared with the latest “green” cooking techniques — and shrimp scampi with an islandtini is a perfect example.
Though you can prepare this meal at home with conventional cooking methods, we use new windspeed ovens, induction cooking and other innovations for food preparation. It is a no-fry, greaseless kitchen with no vents, and the integration of new kitchen technologies allows us to prepare food efficiently without sacrificing flavor and character.
Note: The recipe provided is based on one serving, so multiply ingredients accordingly for the number of servings required for the meal. This is a great dish to prep in advance, then finish easily when you’re ready for mealtime.
3 tablespoons garlic butter (see recipe)
6 red shrimp, 16/20 per pound size, peeled and deveined
½ teaspoon Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Redfish Magic Seasoning
3 ounces Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry
1 cup cooked rice
2 bread sticks (optional)
1 lemon crown
On a cutting board, use a paring knife to cut the shrimp along the back all the way through except for ¼-inch from the top and ¼-inch from the tail. (This leaves the tip and tail fully connected but opens up the center of the shrimp).
Place the garlic butter in the center in a 7-inch frying pan. Position the shrimp standing up, with the insides resting on the garlic butter. Evenly sprinkle the Redfish seasoning over the shrimp.
Place the pan on the stove-top burner and cook at medium high, stirring regularly until the shrimp are nearly done. The shrimp will change from its raw translucent gray coloring to an opaque white with some pink coloring.
Squeeze the juice from a half lemon over the shrimp, and then drizzle the Bristol cream sherry over it. Pour the shrimp and juices over a bowl of cooked rice. When serving, place two bread sticks in a crisscrossed standing position in the bowl.
Make the meal extra special by topping it with a lemon crown. With a pairing knife, cut off the ends of the lemon. Then make diagonal “crown” cuts around the top, making sure to cut through the lemon. Pull apart the halves to create two crowns.
Makes 1 serving.
1 pound softened sweet butter
¼ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup coarsely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon finely ground pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Blackened Redfish Magic Seasoning
Let 1 pound of butter sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes. When softened, unwrap and place into the electric mixer bowl.
Using the beater bar, start out on low speed and slowly pour in the heavy cream.While that is working, chop the fresh parsley and add to the mixing bowl. Add the garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic powder and Redfish seasoning, then change the speed to high. Mix for 5 minutes until the butter is smooth and lump-free.
Tightly cover with plastic wrap. Garlic butter keeps for up to 7 days.
Now that I have you thinking ahead to summer weather, why not treat yourself to an islandtini? This refreshing creation is sure to put you in the mood for a beach walk. At The Q, we are fortunate to have a cotton candy machine handy to supply the final garnish to this drink — but feel free to use your imagination for your own finishing touch.
1¼ ounces light rum
¾ ounce Midori liqueur
2 ounces cream of coconut
2 ounces pineapple juice
2 ounces mango puree
1 ounce cotton candy (optional)
Place a scoop of ice into a martini shaker. Add the light rum, Midori liqueur, pineapple juice, cream of coconut and the mango puree and shake all ingredients together.
Rim a martini glass with a pineapple wedge then dip it into a saucer of toasted coconut flakes. Strain the liquid into the martini glass, place the pineapple wedge on the rim. If you have it, float the cotton candy in the center of the glass.
Makes 1 drink.
Peter Boyer is the culinary manager for the new Quil Ceda Creek Casino that opened in February. As the manager, he oversees the Tulalip casino’s The Kitchen, which features an innovative one-stop “passport” payment system for seven cook-to-order stations.