“Why am I not in [insert vacation destination here] at this very moment?”
That’s just a general though I have every day of my life, and one with the current specificity of Hawaii as I think about these garlicky shrimp. I mean, suddenly it’s May (!) and that means my blissful four days pigging out in paradise were an eternity ago. Ok, fine, it was five months ago but it feels longer. And sure, I have a vacation planned in four weeks but there are a lot of stressful things to do between now and then, so in my current frame of mind it’s a little easier to look back instead of forward.
Back to a beautiful day on the North Shore and a post-hula, post-sea turtles mad dash to Giovanni’s shrimp truck just before they closed. Back to a scramble to the car for more cash, desperate prayers they hadn’t stopped dishing out plates for the day, and a final, long sigh of relief as we sat down with our plate of classic shrimp scampi. Back to chickens roaming nearby as we made short work of the shrimp, peeling off their pungent, butter-drenched shells. Back to an empty plate, gloriously sticky fingers and garlic on our breath.
The good news is, it’s pretty easy to recreate the magic at home! Well, not the ocean breeze or the chickens or the relaxing feel of Aloha time, but the shrimp part is pretty manageable. You just need a pound of the largest shrimp you can find, a fearless use of butter, and a crap ton of garlic. Serve on a paper plate a la Giovanni’s with two scoops of sticky white rice, a lemon wedge and a little hot sauce. “Share” with friends or shamelessly hog it all for yourself.
North Shore Style Garlic Shrimp
l lb large shrimp (the largest you can find), deveined but not shelled
1 head garlic, minced
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbs flour
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/8 cup dry white wine
sticky white rice, for serving
lemon wedges, for serving
hot sauce, for serving (optional)
- Mix flour, cayenne and paprika in a large bowl, and toss with the shrimp.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter and garlic. Cook until garlic is fragrant, being careful not to burn it. Add the shrimp to the pan in a single layer (or as close to a single layer as possible) and cook for 3 minutes, then flip and cook 2 minutes more. In the last minute of cooking add the wine and sprinkle with the salt. Finish with a squeeze of lemon.
- Serve with sticky white rice, lemon wedges, and hot sauce, if desired.