What is scampi?  It’s complicated.  For me, the word scampi puts me in mind of something I loved when I was a little kid and my parents took me out to dinner.  Scampi in a basket seemed like a VERY sophisticated dish for a pre-teen at the Berni Inn.

Crispy unidentified fishy things in crispy breadcrumbs.  I munched them up.

Something happened later in life though, and I developed a fear of crustaceans.  Perhaps it was the prawn cocktail era that put me off.  But I am getting over it.  These were very nice.  And as Lana Turner was selected at random from my film star playing card pack for the “RECIPE OF THE MONTH” and I only have 3 recipes for Lana it had to be done.  This one was the most fun of the three.

Scampi is, in theory, langoustine tails.  But in practice like many other things we are finding out are not quite what we think, scampi in the freezer aisles these days can contain all sorts of nonsense.  Including bits of these fellas.

Vietnamese pangasius catfish…

The fleshy things Americans call shrimp we call prawns.  I think.  Because over here shrimp are the little tiny ones and prawns are the big ones.  Isn’t it the other way around in the States? It’s complicated… But Lana doesn’t specify langoustines for her scampi, she just says shrimp.  So I used prawns.  D’yougetme?

Thanks to cookthink.com for this nice picture – they debate the prawn/shrimp conundrum here…

Anyway, whatever, I ate all of these and I liked them.  And the next day Mr Rathbone made me a delicious prawn bhuna and I ate all of that too.  Conquering my fear of crustaceans day by day.  Aubergines next…

Here are the prawns in marinade…

and here they are cooked…

and here is the recipe…

Lana Turner’s Scampi

16 med. large shrimp

2 cloves crushed garlic

28 grams / ¼ stick butter or margarine

4 tablespoons / ¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons parsley flakes or fresh

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Split shrimp, remove legs, vein and shell, leave tail on.  Heat butter and oil, add garlic, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Put sauce on flesh side of shrimp and marinate for one hour.

Place shrimp in baking pan flesh side up and broil about six inches from heat for six minutes.  Serve hot.  (Serves 4).

If you try Lana’s Scampi drop me a line – I love to hear how readers get on with the recipes – photos much appreciated too…

Coming soon – a reader’s report on the last recipe of the month – Burt Lancaster’s Boeuf Bourguignon – made in French France itself!  Tres bien!

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