Why This Recipe Works
Our shrimp scampi recipe uses a few test kitchen tricks to ensure flavorful and well-cooked shrimp along with a cohesive, garlicky wine-and-butter sauce. First, we brine the shrimp in salt and sugar to season them throughout and keep them moist and juicy. Then we poach them in wine rather than sauté them, so they cook evenly and gently. To get good seafood flavor into the sauce, we make a stock from the shrimp shells. And for potent garlic flavor, we use a generous amount of sliced garlic—too much minced garlic made the sauce grainy. Finally, to keep the sauce silky and emulsified, we added a teaspoon of cornstarch. Emulsifying with cornstarch means that we can use a little less butter, so the sauce isn’t overly rich.