Don’t these look gorgeous?!
And they taste as good as they look…. really, really good! These Scampi are stuffed with smoky bacon, earthy sauteed mushrooms, juicy tomatoes and fresh spinach and then drizzled in a lemony wine sauce flavored with shallots, garlic and butter.
They look so elegant and impressive, but here’s the secret… They are so easy to make! You just make the stuffing, make the sauce, and then bake the Scampi in the oven. You can even make these ahead of time and have them ready and chilling in the fridge. Then just bake them right before you’re ready to serve them. Perfect for entertaining, as a first course.
So you might be wondering, like we were, what the heck is the difference between scampi and prawns?! They look very similar. Well we got these at Pike Place Market in Seattle and we asked the fish monger this very question. He said that Scampi are bigger and they taste more like lobster than prawns. Now we know… And so do you.
You could also make this dish with small lobster if you can’t find large scampi like we did. Prawns might be too small, except maybe for big tiger prawns.
Butterflying the Scampi may sound difficult and tricky, but it’s very easy. You just need to slice the Scampi with a sharp knife half way through the flesh on the outside of the natural curve of the tail. Just be careful not to cut all the way through.
To stuff these, it’s not really like how you would normally stuff something. It’s more like plunking a scoop full of stuffing down on the inside of the tail and pulling the tail over the top.
Make these for a dinner party or a date night with your honey and you will be a star 😉
- FOR THE STUFFED PRAWNS
- 12 large prawns, butterflied
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ onion, diced
- 2½ cups crimini mushrooms, diced
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
- ¾ cup cooked bacon bits
- ¾ cup chopped spinach
- ¼ cup chopped basil
- ½ cup feta
FOR THE WINE SAUCE
- 2 shallots, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup wine
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- Rinse your shrimp really well, devien them if they haven't been already, and then butterfly them by slicing half way through them on the outside of their natural curve. Set them aside.
- Heat a pan to medium heat. Add the diced onion and mushrooms to the pan and saute for a few mins until the mushrooms start to brown and the onions are translucent and soft.
- Add the tomatoes and cook for another few minutes so the tomatoes start to break down.
- Next add the spinach and cook until it wilts and all extra moisture in the pan has evaporated. Remove from the heat and add the basil and the bacon bits. Let the filling cool for a few mins.
- Place the prawns on a tray, butterflied side down. Place the stuffing on top and wrap the tail over top. Bake for 25 mins at 375 degrees or until the prawns turn white and bright pink.
- In the meantime, make your wine sauce. Heat a saucepan on medium heat. Add the butter and shallots to the pan and saute for a couple of min till the shallots get tender.
- Add the garlic, then the lemon juice and the wine. Cook till the mixture reduces by half, reduce the heat to low and just keep it warm until the prawns are ready.
- When the prawns are ready, put 2 - 4 on each plate and drizzle them with the sauce.