Chef Bretto Replicating Ina Garten's Linguine with Shrimp Scampi Recipe

by - 6:47 AM

Chef Bretto Replicating Ina Garten's Linguine with Shrimp Scampi
Chef Bretto Replicating Ina Garten's Linguine with Shrimp Scampi
Buongiorno Miei Amata Amici!

I have learned that my children do not comprehend that ANYBODY can have a cooking blog. Thus, my 9 year old son, Chef Bretto, concludes I am a famous chef, because we write regarding our kitchen adventures.Who knew there were so many gluttons willing to listen to my off-key opera while cooking?

Currently, Chef Bretto and I have a goal to teach him a new kitchen skill or technique every few days. So I either search for a recipe or create my own to incorporate food we have available while giving Chef Bretto an opportunity to learn something unfamiliar.

Chef Bretto preparing lemon zest.
Chef Bretto preparing lemon zest.
Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, has a highly rated recipe for Linguine with Shrimp Scampi. Chef Bretto and I had determined to make this dish. While we have lemons on hand quite often, I had never taught Brett how to grate lemon zest or juice a lemon for cooking/baking before. Disclosure, I still cringe every time he picks up a kitchen knife or grates food.

Nonetheless, I set forth to teach him this competence while concealing my fears, as he has a heart for creating meals. Watching him grate the lemon zest and finding delight in its scent made the experience less painful for me. :)

Next came chopping up the fresh parsley. He loves picking the herbs from our garden and savors the aromas. I am fascinated how Chef Bretto discovers that chopping the herbs releases more of their scent. He bathes his senses with stimulation by this pleasure.

It seems in our home, no time is spent in the kitchen without at least one mess or minor disaster. I am a messy cook! I dread cleaning up after myself.

Enter Daddy!  Steve comes waltzing into the kitchen to see what we are designing, usually this means he wants to start sampling the food. He often volunteers as a taste tester. Steve notices the butter melting in the olive oil and withdraws a butter knife from the drawer and gently pushes the butter around the pan. Setting the knife down he leaves the kitchen, unaware that Chef Bretto has observed this "new technique" of cooking. When I return to the kitchen, I hear this DREADFUL scraping noise. Yes, Chef Bretto has MASTERED the new technique of stirring the butter and olive oil in my calphalon non-stick skillet with a METAL KNIFE!!!

Chef Bretto preparing Shrimp Scampi with Linguine Recipe by Ina Garten
Chef Bretto preparing Shrimp Scampi
with Linguine Recipe by Ina Garten
In shock of watching my pan be destroyed, I screamed out, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" I see the look of hurt on his face and I realize he thought he was quite adroit at this cool method. Aye, aye, aye! I humbly apologize for my outburst and taking the knife from his hand, I hand him a wooden spoon/spatula and check to see if our meal is safe to consume or spiced with non-stick coating flecks.

Chef Bretto and I sample the complete Scampi and both of us come away stunned the citrus has overpowered our garlic. Disappointed, we seek a way to salvage our meal. We have found that fresh garlic does not go over well with our family. It must be sauteed first to soften its sting.

Chef Bretto sampling his masterpiece.
Chef Bretto sampling his masterpiece.
In desperation we add a little cream and quite a bit of Parmesan Reggiano. It lessens the citrus, but the garlic appears lost. It's too late to cut up more garlic and saute it. This is not the Shrimp Scampi we know and love. When Scampi is ready, it must be served or the shrimp will be overcooked and the linguine will be cold. Reluctantly, we agree that our family will hopefully find they can like a strong lemon taste in their dinner.

The family did eat dinner, but nobody cared for the lemon conquering the garlic. Our family is of the idea that lemon is more for desserts and drinks, than main dishes. However, I am confident that if I were a professional chef, I would have known how to soften this blow. Do you have any suggestions on how to recover from too much lemon in a dish? Do you have a favorite Shrimp Scampi recipe?

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