Shrimp scampi is one of my all-time favorite dishes. Unfortunately, I could never seem to get it quite right at home. My main qualm seemed to be that it was always too dry. My natural inclination was to add more butter. But, I needed more flavor than butter alone could lend. So, I tried adding more lemon juice. Too sour. While I love lemony pastas – they should never make you pucker. Many recipes I’d seen used white wine in the sauce, which was a welcome idea. Additionally, one of my favorite local restaurants adds tomatoes and fresh basil to their rendition of shrimp scampi, which I thought was wonderful. I  knew that I wanted to incorporate that as well. I figured with the addition of white wine, and tomato…hopefully, that would amp up the sauce factor.

This recipe is definitely a keeper! Plenty of kick from the garlic. Bright flavor from the lemon. A kiss of warmth from the red pepper flakes. And, the white wine just wraps it’s arms around everything and brings it all together. This is another meal that goes from stove to plate in a matter of minutes. I usually start sautéing the shrimp immediately after I begin cooking the pasta to get everything on the table at the same time.

It’s springtime here on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and that means that crabs are starting to come back into season. Crab soup traditionally comes in two varieties; Cream of crab – a, well, cream based soup. And, Maryland crab – a tomato based soup. My husband is a fan of the Cream, where I am a Maryland kind of gal.

This recipe is for the tomato based soup, and it’s wonderful. A little heat from the old bay, lots of flavor from the crab meat, and tons of veggies! My 3 year old loves it. I always find that soup is a good way to get anything I want to into him!

On another note, we have a new addition to the family. I’m such a horribly slack blogger, you would think I would have posted something earlier…but time is just running away with me these days! So, without further adieu, this is William or “Will” for short. He was born December 19th, and was a hefty 10 lbs at birth. He’s now going on 5 months, and is close to weighing 20 lbs. He is a beast! While Andrew is a carbon-copy of Jon, I think I’ve finally got one that resembles me now. He’s such a sweet and happy baby boy, we are truly blessed!

Okay, back to the soup. It makes a relatively large batch. But, leftovers freeze well. I like to make my own seafood stock with various shells that I leftover from seafood. Crab, shrimp, lobster – all cook down to make a beautiful stock. If you don’t have any of those things available though, try substituting bottled clam juice. I think it would be just as good!

I consider today to be the last day of summer. Here in Maryland, there is already a crispness in the air in the mornings. School buses are on the move, and dare I say it, but I’ve already seen a few leaves changing color. It’s been a wonderful summer for me and my family. We’ve got a new baby on the way (due on Christmas Eve!), had an abundance of fresh seafood, many glorious days at the beach, and plenty of good food on the table. Even though I have not been regular with my blogging, rest assured I still have been putting out “good eats” on the regular. This, my friends, was one of our favorite dishes this summer. Beef tacos and chicken tacos are wonderful, but a good fish taco is on another plane of existence!

Now, of course you could grill or pan sear your fish for a healthier option. But, I gotta give two-thumbs up for the beer batter. I used my husbands home brewed 60 Minute IPA, and the beer flavor really shined through. The fish also stayed crispy long after frying. We were nibbling on fish nuggets long after dinner was over! I like to employ a double-shell technique for these. I had some wonderful blue corn taco shells that I got while in the “big city” a month or so ago. But, they are very fragile. My solution was to wrap a flour tortilla around the corn, and it really does give it a little something extra as far as the texture is concerned. We topped ours with a spicy chipotle ailoi, pico de gallo, and of course the traditional thinly sliced cabbage.

They’ve definitely become a favorite in our household, even with our 2 year old Drew. He couldn’t get enough of the fish, as well as the Spanish rice I served it with (which, I will have to blog on it’s own in another post…it’s insanely good as well!). I see us having this dish in the cold winter months as well for sure!

friedshrimp

Fresh shrimp are very easy to come by here on the Eastern Shore. Shrimp are wonderful, you can virtually do anything you want to with them. I will spare you all any Bubba Blue quotes, but the man did have a good point. I’d go as far as to say they are the most versatile thing in the whole ocean. But, I have to say, my favorite preperation of a shrimp is the good old batter and fry. While I absolutely adore a zesty shrimp scampi, or an piping hot batch of Old Bay-laiden steamed shrimp, there is something to be said about the simplicity of a fried shrimp.

Because shrimp cook so quickly – things easily go awry. The difference between perfectly cooked and shrimp jerky is a matter of seconds. And, nothing is worse than an overcooked shrimp. Well, okay, I’m sure there is something worse…but, it’s pretty damn bad people!

Feel free to use frozen shrimp (I pity the fool!). Just make sure they have been thawed completely before battering and frying.