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This past weekend (and past week actually because of a weird work schedule), Hubs and I have done a lot of eating out.  We had a friend from out of town visiting for the last four days and because we were always out doing something or shopping, we ended up stopping at whatever restaurant was nearby and convenient.  In addition to milkshakes, pastries, ice cream and pizookies, we had burgers, fries, and other things.  Let me just say, I do not feel good.  I feel heavy and gross and irritable and coworkers are asking me when the baby is due.  Seriously.  I am so ready to get back to exercise, salads and home cooking.  And for the record, there is no baby on the way!

One of the dishes I made on Sunday was lemon pepper shrimp scampi from March 2009’s Cooking Light magazine.  This dish is a breeze to make and you can easily have it on the table in under ten minutes.  The lemon juice gives this dish a nice bright flavor.  I served this as an accompaniment to the spaghetti carbonara and sauteed asparagus dishes, but it could also just as well be served over a bed of pasta or orzo as a main dish.

On a side note, to get the most juice out of a lemon, start by selecting a thin-skinned lemon.  Get it to room temperature or microwave it for 15 seconds–this helps break down the cells and releases more juice.  Roll it on the counter-top, using the palm of your hand to apply pressure on the top of the lemon as you are rolling it back and forth…kind of like rolling a log of dough.  Hope that makes sense.  Then cut the lemon in two and squeeze out the juice!

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi 3

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi, adapted from Cooking Light (March 2009 issue)

1/2 t. kosher salt, divided
2 T. unsalted butter, divided
1 pound peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp, tails and heads removed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lemon
1/4 t. black pepper

Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add half the shrimp to the pan, sprinkling with 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Saute 2 minutes or until almost done.  Remove from heat and transfer shrimp to a plate.  Melt another 1/2 tablespoon of butter in pan, add remaining shrimp and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Saute for 2 minutes or until almost done.  Transfer shrimp to plate.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in pan.  Add minced garlic to pan and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly, until it begins to turn golden brown.  Stir in shrimp, lemon juice and pepper.  Cook 1 minute or until shrimp are done.

Serves 4.