The Elegant Way Ina Garten Arranges Shrimp Scampi

Ina Garten, better known as the "Barefoot Contessa" by her beloved fans, is the author of over a dozen cookbooks, where she educates readers on modern comfort food that's easy to make. In addition to sharing her expertise, Garten often takes to the internet to offer quick tips and shortcuts — like how to make the perfect cookie dough and the creamiest mac and cheese — for making cooking at home a breeze. 

While she regularly offers up smart shortcuts, her meals are often unfussy yet sophisticated. So whether you're looking for a quick recipe to make on a busy weeknight or something more elegant to serve your guests at a dinner party, Garten has the perfect recipe in her arsenal. One dish that's a perfect crowd-pleaser? Garten's baked shrimp scampi recipe, courtesy of Food Network, is easy enough for novice cooks to prepare but looks like you put in tons of effort, thanks to its beautiful presentation.

Butterfly your shrimp and arrange it in a circular pattern

Garten's baked shrimp scampi recipe calls for butterfly shrimp. While you may be familiar with butterflying thick cuts of beef, poultry, or fish, you can use the same technique on shrimp. After deveining your tail-on shrimp, run your knife along the back of the crustacean, as Garten recommends via YouTube, to open the shrimp up "like a little book." After you've butterflied the shrimp, follow the instructions outlined in Garten's Food Network recipe for marinating the shrimp and making the garlic butter mixture. 

Then, when it comes time to arrange the butterflied shrimp in the dish, place the shrimp cut side down with the tails up and pointed inward in a 14-inch oval baking dish. Start from the outer edge and work your way inward, creating concentric circles. Garten's shrimp scampi meal is a real winner, because not only will it surely impress your guests, but it's also easy to prepare. Plus, she notes that butterflying the shrimp isn't just for aesthetic purposes — it will also help the dish cook quicker and more evenly.