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Chef’s Corner: Delicious, healthy wild gulf scampi

By Staff | Oct 3, 2013

Wild Gulf Scampi Al Forno

Wild gulf scampi al forno, or from the oven, is a delicious and healthy conscious meal that will be sure delight the palate. Shrimp has virtually no saturated fat and is a lean source of protein.

When buying shrimp follow these simple rules

* Buy frozen with the shell on, because it helps protect it from freezer burn.

* Pay attention to the count on the label, the lower the number the bigger the shrimp.

* Avoid any discoloration; shrimp should have a slight salt water smell but nothing else.

* Do not refreeze the shrimp: almost any shrimp you buy is going to be previously thawed. Refreezing is the worst thing you can do to any kind of meat or seafood.

* If frozen, put shrimp in the refrigerator covered for a day, or defrost in a colander under cool running water.

Shrimp are best grilled, but not over too high of heat. Once the outside skin surface no longer shows any of its original color, it is done and you need to remove it. The second worst thing you can do to a shrimp is to overcook it.

Getting the shrimp ready for grilling is just as important as the actual grilling itself. Deveining shrimp is often most people’s biggest problem when preparing them. The best method is to use a small paring knife to split the shrimp down the back and then pick out the vein. This opening in the shrimp is the best place to apply flavors.

This is the wild gulf scampi al forno recipe that we serve at Traditions on the Beach, tossed in an indulgently rich vermouth-gorgonzola sauce and baked. Cook time is less than 25 minutes and serves four.

Wild Gulf Scampi Al Forno


2 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 teaspoon red crushed pepper

1 1/2 cup dry vermouth

Fresh ground black pepper and salt

2 1/2 cup heavy cream

1 cup crumbles gorgonzola cheese

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1/2 cup grated parmesan

1/2 cup olive oil

In a large bowl mix the garlic, olive oil, red crushed pepper, salt and black pepper. Add the shrimp and stir until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Preheat the grill to medium heat and start making the vermouth-gorgonzola sauce.

In a small, heavy saucepan saute onions for three minutes. Add dry vermouth and reduce by half. Add heavy cream, bring to a boil, stir in the gorgonzola cheese and lower the heat to simmer for about 10 minutes until reduced by half. Season to taste and put aside.

Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head.

Lightly oil the grill, and cook shrimp on preheated grill for two minutes per side, or until opaque. Arrange them in an oven proof dish, cover with gorgonzola sauce, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for eight to 10 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

You can sop up any extra sauce with a slice of crusty French bread. Enjoy!!!

Recipe courtesy of Chef Aziz of Traditions on the Beach, 3111 West Gulf Drive, in the historic Island Inn. For more information or to make a reservation call 239-472-4559 or visit “http://www.TraditionsOnTheBeach.com”>www.TraditionsOnTheBeach.com.