In Italian, the name of this dish translates to “peasant shrimp.”  It gets its name from the Italian fisherman who, back in the day, would bring home the least expensive catch for the family meal. This preparation, however, is far from common: shrimp are dredged in flour, sautéed until crisp on the bottom and then popped under the broiler to brown the tops. Out of the oven, a velvety textured lemon, garlic, and butter sauce is drizzled over the shrimp. The result is a simple-to-prepare, luxurious meal fit for serving to even the foodiest foodie.

Americans eat over one billion pounds of shrimp every year. Wild caught shrimp are sustainable and eating them avoids ecological havoc, health issues caused by antibiotics and pesticides, and coastal community problems such as child labor and land disputes.

Opponents of wild shrimp assert that the the trawl nets used to bring in fresh catch result in other species being caught in fisherman’s nets. As part of federal regulation, all shrimpers in U.S. coastal waters are required to use a turtle excluder device that safely helps guide sea turtles through an escape flap. In order to protect other marine life like red snapper or any finfish, a Bycatch Reduction Device is installed to provide a small opening at the top of the net for fish to escape. Eating shrimp caught in the Gulf of Mexico helps mitigate the environmental hazards of eating shrimp. Eat domestic!

A myth surrounding eating shrimp suggests a negative health impact from the dietary cholesterol of this crustacean. With virtually no saturated fat, nutritionists and scientists agree that eating shrimp does not elevate blood cholesterol and provides a healthy source of lean protein.

Keep a close eye on the shrimp while it is under the broiler—shrimp cook quickly and go from golden to burnt in a flash. Any size shrimp is fine for this recipe, but the larger shrimp create a truly impressive finished plate.

cuisine Italian
difficulty Moderate
season Year Round
serves 4


  • 2 pounds wild shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails on
  • 1 pint half and half
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1 stick unsalted European butter, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. Preheat the oven broiler.
  2. Put the shrimp in a large bowl and add the half and half. Soak for 30 minutes, drain, and pat lightly with a paper towel to dry.
  3. Put the flour in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Warm a 12" cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Dredge the shrimp in the flour, shake off excess flour, and sauté the shrimp in the skillet for 4 minutes without turning the shrimp. Remove skillet from heat.
  5. In a 1 quart saucepan, whisk the yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and butter over low heat until the butter is melted. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Let the sauce cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until it begins to thicken.
  6. Place the skillet with the shrimp under the broiler for 3 minutes or until the shrimp are golden and crisp. Remove shrimp from the oven, pour the butter sauce over the shrimp, and finish with a sprinkling of parsley. Serve immediately.