In Which We Don’t Do South Beach

My mother throws a good party. By which I mean, there are plenty of people, plenty of drinks, and way too much food. At her last party, there were six boxes of pizza, a tray roughly the size of Texas covered in sushi, cheese and bread, homemade chicken wings, two thousand pounds of baked ziti, and seven million dessert options. Oh, and salad. My father narrowly talked her down off the ledge of making five hundred tons of shrimp scampi, meaning that along with half a lemon cake and a barrel full of brownies, the Boy and I left with a Ziploc of peeled, deveined shrimp, a stick of butter, a jar of minced garlic, and this recipe.


This recipe comes from the South Beach Diet. It is quick, it is easy, and it is yummy. However, this yumminess comes with a caveat – the Boy and I are not on the South Beach Diet.

Hence, we swapped out the requested margarine for good old Julia-Child-Paula-Deen butter.

Butter and garlic.

And let’s be real, anything covered in butter and garlic would really have to fight to not be delicious.

Cooking shrimp.

More cooking of the same shrimp.

So, if you needed a quick, easy, savory dinner, make this. And if you’re not on South Beach – use butter. (If you are on South Beach, like my Daddy occasionally is, probably use the margarine. I bet it’s still pretty tasty).

Shrimp Scampi over rice.

Shrimp Scampi
Adapted from The South Beach Diet Quick & Easy Cookbook
This shrimp scampi is your basic toss it-in-a-pan and eat it sort of meal. Obviously, my shrimp were kindly peeled and de-veined by Mom, so if you can get them that way, it makes it that much quicker. South Beach doesn’t allow and rice or pasta until later in the game, but if you’re not restricted, starch soaks up all that buttery garlicky goodness oh-so-well.

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 8 Minutes

Yield: 4 Servings

1 1/2 pounds fresh or thawed frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons butter [fat-free margarine for the South Beach-ers]
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

Rinse shrimp under cold water and pat dry well with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat butter and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat until melted and bubbling, 1 to 2 minutes. Add shrimp and stir to coat.

Add lemon juice, parsley, and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are pink, about 2 minutes (do not overcook or shrimp will be tough). Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and serve alone or over rice or pasta.


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