Maybe it's because I grew up in an arid valley and my only opportunity to have good seafood was on our annual pilgrimage to the sole seafood restaurant in town for a birthday dinner. I always ordered the same thing - a cup of clam chowder and a 1/2 a crab. I was extremely resistant to trying new things and I ate small portions. The former trait I'm trying to overcome and the latter I'm working on returning to.
When I had to come up with a menu for a romantic dinner, I thought immediately of this recipe for Shrimp Scampi I got from Cooking Light many years ago, back when they thought margarine was better for you than butter. I put the butter back in. The scampi has a wonderful garlicy flavor and is easy to prepare. The most time-consuming part of it is peeling, deveining, and butterflying the shrimp. After that it goes together in a snap.
2 lbs large unpeeled shrimp (48 shrimp)
3 Tbsp butter
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
8 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup mincced fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
6 cups hot cooked angel hair pasta (about 3/4 lb. uncooked)
Peel shrimp, leaving the tails intact. Starting at tail end, butterfly underside of each shrimp, cutting to, but not through, back of shrimp. Arrange 8 shrimp, cut sides up, in each of 6 gratin dishes; set aside. I don't own gratin dishes and didn't want my bowls to explode under the broiler, so I used a Pyrex 8 x 11 pan.
Set water to boil for cooking angel hair pasta. The pasta can cook while the shrimp is under the broiler.
Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and garlic; saute 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in wine, parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Spoon wine mixture evenly over each serving; sprinkle paprika over shrimp, and broil 6 minutes or until shrimp is done. Using the one, larger dish, I took it out after 6 minutes and stirred, to uncover any uncooked bits, and put it back under the broiler for another 2 minutes.
Serve over the angel hair pasta. Yield: 6 servings (8 shrimp and 1 cup pasta each)