Shrimp scampi that skimps on carbs – not flavour

ARE we done with spiralised vegetables yet? They may be a distant glimmer, but the zucchini ones make a surprisingly decent substitute for pasta here.

They soften and soak up a bit of the garlicky flavours of the sauce yet retain a bit of texture.

What they don’t fully absorb is taken in by the panko topping, which we toast briefly in a skillet. (Pale panko takes forever to brown, usually unsuccessfully, on something moist in the oven, which is why we give it an initial boost.)

We used the pre-cut zucchini noodles sold in the refrigerated section of the supermarket produce department; if you have your own spiraliser, start with two medium zucchini and add a few minutes’ prep time to the recipe.

The original dish, from ‘Modern Comfort Cooking’ by Lauren Grier (Page Street, 2017), is called Shrimp Scampi Zucchini Noodle Casserole, but we think this name is more appropriate given its reduced amount of carbs.

Leftovers taste great cold. – Text and Photo by The Washington Post

Ingredients

One large or two medium shallots

Three cloves garlic

Leaves from six stems flat-leaf parsley

Four tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

Four tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

One pound peeled deveined raw shrimp (defrosted if frozen; see NOTE)

1/2 lemon

1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper (spice blend)

One cup panko (plain dried bread crumbs)

Six cups zucchini noodles (if you spiralise them yourself, use two medium zucchini)

Shrimp Skimpy Scampi (Four servings)

Steps

PREHEAT the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a nine-by-13-inch baking dish or casserole with cooking oil spray.

Cut the shallot(s) into small dice (to yield 1/3 to 1/2 cup). Mince the garlic. Coarsely chop the parsley.

Melt half the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add half the oil, then stir in the shallot and 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and black pepper.

Cook for about three minutes, then stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Meanwhile, pull off the shrimp tails, as needed. Season the shrimp with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each of the salt and black pepper.

Add the shrimp to the skillet; cook for one minute per side, then squeeze in two tablespoons of juice from the 1/2 lemon into the mix.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp (which will be not quite cooked through) to a mixing bowl.

Once the liquids left in the skillet begin to bubble, add the remaining two tablespoons of butter, the remaining two tablespoons of oil and half the lemon pepper.

Stir until melted and saucy.

Pour over the shrimp in the bowl and return the empty skillet to medium heat.

Add the panko and cook, stirring, for a few minutes or just until lightly golden. Turn off the heat.

Add the zucchini noodles and parsley to the bowl with the shrimp and toss gently to coat.

Pour into the baking dish or casserole and top first with the lightly toasted panko and then sprinkle the remaining lemon pepper over the crumbs.

Bake (middle rack) for 10 to 15 minutes, just until bubbling a little at the edges. Serve hot.

NOTE: Frozen shrimp can be defrosted overnight in the refrigerator.

To defrost shrimp quickly, take them out of the bag and place in a colander or strainer.

Submerge in cool tap water for about 15 minutes, changing the water once or twice, as needed.

Nutrition | Per serving: 430 calories, 26g protein, 18g carbohydrates, 26g fat, 9g saturated fat, 215mg cholesterol, 420mg sodium, 2g dietary fibre, 4g sugar