Dijon Mustard Gives Shrimp Scampi A Hint Of Spice

One of the best things about food is how multi-faceted it is. Some dishes relish in the beauty of sophistication, while others provide the comforts of familiarity. Then there are some that do both, like shrimp scampi. From cozy home kitchens to fancy restaurants, this Italian classic is a foolproof promise of a satisfying meal. It's good enough as it is but also incredibly adaptable to various preference changes. For those who like a bit of spice to take things up a notch, a few dollops of Dijon mustard is all it takes.

Compared to regular yellow mustard, Dijon mustard is sharper and more intense in flavor while still embracing the condiment's quintessential tangy and peppery edges. When mixed with shrimp scampi, its distinctive heat brings a delightful contrast to the dish's garlicky, buttery notes. It doesn't really overpower the main ingredients, instead complementing everything that's already there. What ends up on the plate is an elegant yet complex dish that offers a little bit of everything: a subtly spicy kick, a vibrant zing, rich flavors, and all the nuances in between.

As a plus, the addition of Dijon mustard also slightly enhances the sauce's texture. It lends a velvety consistency that coats every strand of pasta and piece of shrimp in a delectable smoothness. The change is subtle, but it does a great job of elevating the dish's quality and making it a lot more enjoyable.

What to know when adding Dijon mustard to your shrimp scampi

A key point to remember when working with Dijon mustard is that a little goes a long way. Start by adding a small amount to the sauce mixture and taste as you go. Generally speaking, you'll only need a tablespoon or two for a four-person serving. Use too much, and its intense flavors might overwhelm the other ingredients.

When added to shrimp scampi, Dijon mustard doesn't always have to go solo. You can incorporate it with other ingredients, such as honey, which is its all-time match made in heaven for a luscious sweetness that mellows out all the harsh edges. An even simpler pairing would be lemon juice to sprinkle in some zesty sparks. If you like your food spicy and don't think the mustard alone will suffice, robust spices like hot pepper flakes or cayenne pepper are perfect for amping up the heat.

That's not all! For a more filling dish, pair your shrimp scampi with some food on the side. Although pasta is a classic choice, toasted bread is just as good. You can also go for roasted veggies like asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, or broccoli — they add a bit of extra color and boost the dish's nutritional value. Even something as minuscule as capers can make a huge difference, tying right into the dish's overall tanginess.