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Tis the shrimpin' season - grilled scampi

Posted: Friday, Jul. 27, 2012

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Chef Troy Gagliardo

CChef Troy Gagliardo is a self-taught chef that has parlayed his years of kitchen experience into many other culinary ventures. Including a proprietary spice line, cook books, commercials, food styling, cooking/restaurant columns, endorsements, cooking classes, and live appearances. Troy has been voted as one of the Charlotte’s Top Five Chefs two years in a row by Creative Loafing readers. Chef Troy has appeared in two national commercials with NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and joined him for a media tour day just days before Dale Jr. won his second Daytona 500 to start the 2014 NASCAR season. For the past seven years, Chef Troy has appeared each week on Charlotte's morning show WCCB News Rising, cooking his way through "Troy’s Everyday Eats". Filmed live each week at the WCCB Charlotte studios, Chef Troy teaches his unique style of food with a simple Warren publishing recently signed Chef Troy to publish his new cookbook entitled Pseudo Southern-a playful twist on the art of southern cooking, which has been endorsed by Top Chef Alum and best-selling author Fabio Viviani and also star of “A Chef’s Life” Vivian Howard. Fabio said of Pseudo Southern, "Southern food is my second home. It's as close to my heart like Italy is, and that is why I love Troy's recipes so much. They remind me of the childhood I would have had if I was born in the south”. Vivian had this to say, “Troy’s take on southern food is just left of center, fun, and refreshing. His recipes are approachable that even the most jaded cook will be intrigued to try.” Chef Troy is also a free-lance food writer for the Charlotte Observer and Examiner.com and lives in Mooresville, NC with his wife Tracy, of twenty-three years, and their two daughters, Ally and Isabella. He can be seen every Tuesday morning from 7-9 am on WCCB News Rising.

These summer months aren’t all about fresh produce. Even though most of us are excited about tomatoes, corn, peaches, beans and everything else, we are right in the middle of shrimpin’ season. From the end of May to sometime in August, shrimp season is in full swing. Fresh local shrimp can be found in a number of places like farmers markets, road side stands near the beach and in stores that support local products like The Fresh Market.

There are literally thousands of ways to prepare shrimp. Remember Bubba in Forrest Gump, heck he named about 6 ways to cook them and over 20 different shrimp dishes. Anyway, fresh locally caught shrimp don’t need a whole lot of fuss when preparing them; salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon will get it done.

However, if you are looking to do something a bit different try this grilled shrimp scampi. Served over garlicky, slightly charred toast and tossed with a tangy, spicy butter sauce, you will soon realize that you probably didn’t buy enough shrimp.

For the home cook attempting a butter sauce, or as the French call it a beurre blanc, it can be intimidating because the sauce is so temperamental and can separate with just a slight temperature adjustment. This recipe below for my version of a beurre blanc is flavored with roasted poblano peppers, lemon and white wine, but it also has a touch of cream. The cream is the home cooks secret weapon to keeping such a delicate sauce together. It helps suspend the butter in the sauce, allowing it to be a little more forgiving when putting the sauce together.

A Few tips: 1). Make sure to only use cold unsalted butter 2). Only add butter a cube or so at a time while constantly stirring 3) Check the temperature of the pot using your bare hand. You should be able to touch the side of the pot and be able to leave it on for a second before having to remove it.

Use this recipe as a base and flavor anyway you like to suit your style or palate. Use such things as herbs, chipotle, sweet peppers, caramelized onions or your favorite hot sauce. However you flavor it is up to you, just take your time and make plenty, it will go fast.

Grilled Shrimp Scampi with Roasted Green Chili Lemon Butter Sauce

• 24 each, shrimp, peeled, deveined and skewered in sixes
• Olive oil, to drizzle
• Kosher salt/black pepper, to taste
• 1 recipe, roasted green chili lemon butter sauce
• Fresh parsley, chopped fine, to taste


1. Prepare butter sauce according to recipe and keep warm over very low heat.

2. Drizzle shrimp with oil, toss to coat and season.

3. Warm a large non stick pan to medium high heat.

4. Drizzle the pan with just enough oil to lightly coat, so it glides easily across the pan.

5. Place shrimp in pan flat, not on top of one another.

6. Cook until shrimp start to turn pink on one side, about 1- ½ minute(s)

7. Flip and cook until warmed through, about one minute more.

8. Remove from heat, place on a serving platter and spoon over a little butter sauce.

9. Serve with grilled garlic toast or warm foccacia.

10. Serve remaining roasted green chili lemon butter on the side.

Roasted Green Chili Lemon Butter

Makes about 2 cups

• 1 tablespoon, unsalted butter
• 1 each, poblano pepper, roasted, remove stem, charred skin and seeds, rough chop
• 1 clove, garlic, chopped
• 2 tablespoons, white onion, chopped
• 2 ounces, white wine
• 1 each, lemon, juice of
• 1/2 teaspoon, kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon, black pepper
• 1 ounce, heavy cream
• 1/2 pound, unsalted butter, cold and cubed


1. Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Add pepper, garlic and onion.

2. Sauté stirring frequently, until onions are clear, be careful not to burn the garlic.

3. Add wine, lemon juice, salt, pepper and reduce by half.

4. Add cream and cook until sauce begins to thicken, lower heat to medium as it reduces.

5. Lower heat to low and begin adding butter a couple pieces at a time, stir constantly adding more butter as previous butter melts into sauce.

6. Continue adding butter and stirring over low heat until all butter is incorporated into sauce.

7. Turn off heat, hold sauce covered on burner until ready to use, sauce will hold for about 30 minutes.

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