Grand Marnier Shrimp Scampi

February 27, 2015

in Cook What You Like, Little Bites, Main Dishes

Grand Marnier Scampi v1Shrimp with garlic and butter splashed with a little white wine – what’s not to like about this classic combination?

What if … the little white wine was swapped out with a little bit of booze, such as a delicately flavored cognac, that caramelizes the sauce as it’s reducing with the garlic and butter.  Yeah, you get the picture.  Shrimp with garlic and butter and Grand Marnier.

This is a dish where it shows you’ve paid the extra bucks for something bigger.  Start with larger shrimp, no smaller than 26-30s, preferably 16-20s.  The ranges refer to the number of shrimp in each size.  16-20s means there’s 16-20 shrimp in a pound.  Larger shrimp are more “meaty”, resulting in a more substantial bite and appearance.  Here’s a secret:  adding a couple pinches of baking soda plumps up the shrimp and makes it more tender.

The shrimp are first sautéed in olive oil, scooped out, and set aside.  Added into the skillet are red chili pepper flakes and garlic. When the garlic is golden brown, in goes the Grand Marnier.  Once the sauce is reduced and caramelized, butter and orange juice are whisked in to create a smooth sauce.  The shrimp returns to the skillet and is tossed to generously coat.

This shrimp scampi is delicious with pasta as a main course or substantial as a first course – imagine three large shrimp curled on a small plate in a glistening sauce.  Serve with baguette slices to sop up every last drop.

Recipe:  Grand Marnier Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp size 16-20s (16-20 shrimp per pound) are a good fit for this scampi dish.  The shrimp cooks up fast so have the other meal components ready before the shrimp hits the oil.  Enjoy with prosecco or fruity chardonnay.


  • 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled, deveined and split down the back
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red chili pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup Grand Marnier or orange-scented liqueur
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • salt to season
  • zest from 1/2 orange
  • 1 teaspoon chopped flat leaf parsley


  1. Prepare shrimp:  put shrimp into a bowl, add baking soda and salt and toss together.  Set aside for 10-60 minutes.
  2. Cook shrimp:  in a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over high heat until simmering.  Add  shrimp creating a single layer.  Shrimp may be cooked in two batches (add a tablespoon more oil for second batch). Stir and turn over shrimp occasionally until shrimp becomes white and red and barely cooked through – there should be some golden spots, about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes.  With a slotted spoon, remove shrimp from pan.
  3. Make sauce:  add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and reduce heat to medium high.  Add minced garlic and red chili pepper flakes and sauté until garlic is golden brown.  Add Grand Marnier, bring to a boil and cook until liquid is reduced by one-half, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add butter and whisk rapidly to create a smooth emulsified sauce.  Remove sauce from heat and add orange juice, taste and season with salt if desired.  Reduce heat to medium and return sauce to heat, stirring constantly.  If sauce is too thick, whisk in 1-2 teaspoons water.
  5. Return shrimp to skillet, add orange zest and parsley and toss shrimp until warmed through. Serve immediately.

Serves 2-3 with pasta as a main dish.

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