Monday, March 15, 2010

Panko Crusted "Shrimp" Scampi with Tarragon and Shallot Browned "Butter"

Hoorah! We have finally sprung the clocks forward. It is absolutely my favorite day of the year when the clock ticks forward one hour and the days grow longer. I am in the slap-happiest mood today and the sun is shining. You'd think that living in California would help me avoid mental "ailments" like Seasonal Affective Disorder, but I'm apparently a spoiled little brat face because I definitely become a sad panda during the winter months. There's something about that early darkness that turns me back into a brooding, moody teenager. And believe me, you wouldn't have wanted to know me during that time in my life. I should award my parents with trophies for dealing with the emotional turmoil I unleashed on our household. I blamed it on hormones, but it was probably all of the pot I was smoking. Regardless, I love the spring time...especially because it means Heirloom Tomatoes are almost back in season.

So how was Vegas, you ask? Well, I didn't exactly win any money, but I didn't lose any either. I made the terrible mistake of consuming one too many libations one of the evenings, and ended up withdrawing way more money from my bank account than I had initially intended. With my last twenty in hand, I said "Fuck It" and threw it into a $1 slot machine. I hit the "Bet Max" button, and JACKPOT! I won the majority of my money back. Thank goodness, too, because I also need money to support my other extreme addiction: grocery shopping.

Enough about life. Let's talk about food. I am one of the biggest pasta whores on the planet. Few things satisfy my inner fat kid than I gigantic bowl of noodles. When I was a little Shag-let, my mother used to make amazing shrimp and chicken scampi. I had the wicked itis for it one day, and as much as I hate to kick my mom's ass remaking her recipes, I had to do something to cure the craving. I got my mom to send her original recipe, and I set to work making it vegan-tastic. As much as I wish I had the creative juice and equipment to make my own vegan shrimp, using the frozen packaged variety makes this recipe much easier to swing. It's a great recipe to whip up for a dinner party, and is incredibly satisfying and delicious.

Have a great week!

Panko Crusted "Shrimp" Scampi
with Tarragon and Shallot Browned "Butter"

  • 10 TBSP of Vegan Margarine
  • The leaves from 1 sprig of Fresh Tarragon, minced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh Tarragon, whole
  • 1/8 cup Shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 TBSP Lemon Juice
  • 2 10oz packages of Vegetarian Plus Frozen Vegan Shrimp, thawed
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 batch Vegan "Egg Yolk" Mix
  • 2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs mixed with 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Olive Oil, enough for frying
  • 1 lb of Linguine, cooked al Dente, drained and tossed with a touch of Olive Oil
  • Fresh Parsley, for garnish
  • Dr. Cow's Tree Nut Cheese, grated for garnish (or other Vegan Parmesan)

In a small saucepan, melt the vegan margarine over medium low heat, then add the garlic, tarragon sprigs and shallots. Allow the margarine to simmer until it browns a bit and reduces by about 1/6th, then add in the lemon juice. Remove the 2 whole tarragon sprigs and set aside. Re-melt before tossing with pasta if necessary.

Get your oil heating to about 365 degrees F.

Season the "Shrimp" well with salt and pepper.

Prepare two bowls: One of the "Egg Yolk" Mix and one with the bread crumbs. Individually dip the shrimp first in the "Egg Yolk" Mix, then in the bread crumbs. Fry the "Shrimp" in the hot oil until golden brown.

Toss the linguine and parsley with the browned butter sauce, serve "Shrimp" and vegan Parmesan atop the pasta.


Anonymous said...

i made mom's chicken scampi for jess about a month ago. one bite and her mouth was open in shock, and she called me a goddess. also, no apology to me? geez. love you.

Jes said...

Yay! So glad you won your money back! It's always good to at least break even. :) And the scampi looks delish--although I was hoping you'd have your own "shrimp" recipe. Any in the works?

Woobie is Vegan said...

this is very cool...I don't think I've seen any vegan shrimp on the blogs I follow! I've had what I assume is the same brand at the Vegetarian House in Portland and it was pretty good!

Anonymous said...

also, where do you buy this vegan shrimp and would i like it? jess is allergic to the real thing and there's tons of recipes i'd make for monday night dinners if i could...

The Voracious Vegan said...

I LOVE pasta and have been on a major pasta kick for the past month. I've been eating it several times a week, at least! This looks like an amazing recipe that I'm going to have to try. Thanks!

Witch City Runner said...

Me want! Me want! Yummay! I have to find some vegan shrimp asap, this looks divine!

Cortney said...

I have to admit, the fake shrimp kind of creep me out, but mostly just because real shrimp creep me out :)

Anything covered in panko has to be good though!

Mike K said...

I'm loving the extra hour of daylight too - good for your mind, especially after winter up here. Glad to hear you made your money back in Vegas too! These vegan shrimp are kind of mystifying, but I'd love to try them - the recipe looks absolutely delicious, and the panko coating looks great.

Anonymous said...

congrats on breaking even... in vegas?! i can't wait to see you and hear about all your adventures.

this food looks awesome, and i am so stoked that you are posting full recipes on your site again!


Skyler Man said...

holy crap that looks a lot like shrimp, would make some delicious tempura sushi rolls too.

this looks so yummy, I will def. make it. : )

chow vegan said...

Wow, that looks incredible! I always see the veggie shrimp at the store but I didn't know what to do with it. Now I'll have to get some and make your recipe. Thanks! :-)

The Compassionate Hedonist said...

AHHHHHHH!! amazing as usual. I want to roll around in your recxipes like a rap video with cash. I dont have vege shrimp in the states or many veggie "products" but I will try this out when I come to California(so much vegan food, yo!!) Westside, bitches!

The Compassionate Hedonist said...

ha ha your other addiction: grocery shopping. I have that one too.

Anonymous said...

宇宙萬物中,沒有比人的存在更值得驚訝的!是怎樣的緣份讓我能在分享你的心情~~ ....................................................

Anonymous said...

He who would climb the ladder must begin at the bottom...................................................

Trinity (of haiku tofu) said...

oh my goodness, how did I almost miss this post?! Very cool dish- wish we could get some faux shrimps 'round these parts. I had veg shrimp in LA once, but it didn't blow my mind. Bet your scampi would kick that other shrimp's ass!

Lauren said...

Haven't made this yet, but planning to this week. I'll be back to comment with my results ;) I'm commenting now though, because I wanted to share some info on the Vegetarian Plus brand vegan shrimp. A while back, one of your recipes got me hooked on these guys. Now, I replace real shrimp in recipes I'm veganizing with these ones.

Anyhow, I went to pick up a box at Whole Foods and they were out. Then I tried another WF and they were out too. I waited a few weeks and they never returned. I checked back and finally was told that WF will no longer carry them. They have other faux meats by Vegetarian Plus, but the shrimp are out. I contacted the company and was told that Mother's Market in OC carries them and some other natural food stores not in LA...I was about to be super bummed and then the chick on the phone told me that they have a little store there at company headquarters in Monrovia and that if I was willing to buy them in bulk, I can get them there. So, 20 miles and $17 later, I have 3 lbs of Vegetarian Plus vegan shrimp. I'm actually really happy and love that I have a crazy ass giant bag of these in my freezer now. Freezer space well occupied if you ask me! Anyhow, just thought I'd share the story in case you were looking for them at WF. :)

Lauren said...

Just made this. Crazy delicious as always. :)