Shrimp Scampi is an Italian dish, shrimp sautéed in a garlicky butter sauce, often with some white wine and parsley added. Paella is a Spanish rice dish, that might include various vegetables, meat, or seafoods. Using frozen shrimp scampi marries these two delicious classic dishes into a hybrid all its own, and makes an easy weeknight meal that looks quite impressive, to say the least.
- 2 packages frozen Shrimp Scampi (12-ounce packages)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 teaspoon
- garlic (minced)
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
- 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5-ounce can)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
- Pepper (freshly ground) to taste
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup large pimento stuffed green olives (quartered)
- 1 tablespoon parsley (minced) to serve
- In a large skillet or sauté pan (if you have a paella pan, by all means use it!), cook the shrimp over medium high heat until the butter sauce has melted and the shrimp is almost cooked through, about 4 minutes in all – they will finish cooking in the rest of the dish. Removed them with the sauce to a bowl and set aside.
- Return the pan to the heat and add the oil to the pan. Add the onion and peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 3 minutes, then stir in the garlic and the rice, and stir occasionally for another minute until the grains of rice are well coated with the oil and vegetables.
- Stir in the diced tomatoes with their juice, the broth, and saffron, and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer gently over medium low-heat, partially covered, until the rice is just barely cooked, and the liquid is almost absorbed, about 20 minutes. Place a plate over the bowl to prevent the shrimp for falling into the pan, and pour the sauce from the shrimp into the pan, stirring to mix with the rice and vegetables. Simmer for another 5 minutes until the liquid is almost completely absorbed. Season with pepper. Stir in the partially cooked shrimp, the peas, and the olives.
- Cover the pan, and continue to cook over medium low heat for another 3 minutes until the shrimp and peas are cooked, and the liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle over the parsley and serve hot, straight from the pan.
- Keep the Shrimp Scampi and the peas frozen until ready to prepare.
- Saffron is a very expensive spice, made from the stamens of crocuses, and very labor intensive to harvest, but you only need a very small amount to add terrific flavor and color to this dish.
- Use 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika instead of or along with along with the saffron for a different, slightly smoky flavor
- Warn everyone at the table that the pan is hot! But serving the paella straight from the pan is just really pretty and dramatic.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||5 g|
|Saturated Fat||1 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||3 g|
|Dietary Fiber||5 g|