Barbecued Shrimp Scampi from Chef Jeff
A few weeks ago, while covering the Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando, I had the pleasure of attending a cooking demonstration with Chef Jeff Henderson. You may know him from the Food Network show “The Chef Jeff Project” as well as his New York Times best selling memoir “Cooked“
He not only showcased a few recipes from his cookbook, “Chef Jeff Cooks,” but he also gave us a tour of some of the outstanding new kitchen innovations from GE, one of the Bake-Off sponsors.
I was particularly impressed with the GE Cafe line, featuring restaurant inspired appliances for the home cook. Right now a lot of home cooks are loving the Double Oven Range for its versatility. It’s pretty exciting to think that you can prepare two different dishes at two different temperatures at the exact same time! What do you think? Would you prefer a double oven range in your home kitchen?
Chef Jeff’s recipes are outstanding, but his life story is truly an inspiration. After making a series of poor choices in his youth, Chef Jeff spent some time in prison. While inside he found his passion and worked his way up from dishwasher to chief prison cook. He went on to become an executive chef and now shares his story a public speaker and mentor to at-risk youth.
Chef Jeff is another shining example of how a passion for food can change lives. It was so powerful to hear him speak and know that a few days later one lucky contestant would win $1,000,000 honoring their recipe and passion as well. It made me feel so lucky to be a part of the culinary world and have the opportunity to share my love of food everyday!
Take a look at one of Chef Jeff’s recipes – Barbecued Shrimp Scampi. In the cookbook Chef Jeff offers his recipe for homemade bbq sauce, but I just used my favorite bottled version and it turned out great!
6-8 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 jumbo shrimp, peeled, devined, and washed
1/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
1/4 cup white wine
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup diced and seeded tomatoes
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsely
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
1/4 cup Barbecue Sauce
1. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shrimp, onion, and garlic and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. The shrimp will begin to plump up a bit.
2. Add the wine, lemon zest and juice, and 4 tablespoons more butter. Reduce the heat and gently sauté the shrimp until the sauce thickens. If this sauce is too thin, add 1 to 2 tablespoons more butter.
3. Add the tomatoes and parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add the barbecue sauce and toss well. To serve, remove the shrimp from the pan with a fork, place on plates, and drizzle the sauce over the shrimp with a spoon.
Chef Jeff says, “Every restaurant I’ve worked in has had some kind of scampi dish on the menu. I wanted to re-create this classic European favorite by finishing it off with barbecue sauce.”
Finally, this picture was just too cute not to share…
This year, the Pillsbury Bake-Off was held at the Peabody Hotel in Orlando, a resort known for their famous “march of the ducks” everyday to the lobby fountain. Here they are walking the red carpet, with throngs of tourist paparazzi documenting their every waddle.
(Fun fact: Duck is not on the menu at any of the hotel restaurants, and for the first time in Pillsbury history there was a special note in the rules banning any entry using duck! File that one away for Jeopardy someday…)