Spanish Garlic Shrimp and Scallop Saute

February 4, 2017
Spanish Garlic Shrimp and Scallop Saute - Garlic, shrimp & scallops take center stage in this classic Spanish dish, which is served as a tapa in Spain but also makes a great main dish

“Some people care too much. I think it’s called love”   ~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

My husband – (Gentlemen’s Night – June 2015) – Photo Credit: Burgie’s Coffee – Ames, Iowa

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There is music playing in the other room.  I can picture what he's doing depending on the station.

Jazz?  He's reading in his chair or solving a crossword puzzle over dinner.

Something like Sonia Dada?  Cooking: refrigerator door ajar, hot pads, and a glass of wine on the counter.  Tonight I can make out some of the words, and it makes me wonder how much brain capacity I use remembering lyrics to songs I used to love, but have nearly forgotten about

Sometimes I ask myself questions I know I'll never be able to answer.  How many pages have I read?  What will my grandchildren know that I'll never have the option of learning?  How many times have I swept a floor?  How many bottles of ketchup have I eaten?  How wealthy would my parents be if they'd invested in Heinz the day I was born?  How many pounds have I lost and re-lost?  How many miles have I walked?  How many prayers have I said for my children?

— — –

When I was a young, naive, and wide-eyed newlywed; I was convinced marriage would save me, fulfill me, complete me.  That I would be the apple of my husband's eye, and he of mine.  That we would fall more deeply and madly in love with each passing day. That this marriage, a life together would undoubatedly end in happily ever after for both of us

So that’s what I prepared for.  And it was good, of course, until it wasn't

This time around, I did it differently.  I spent a long time in therapy learning about myself and how to pick a better partner.  I went into it with my cookie recipes, my perfume, my funny stories.  My should's, my expectations, my ideals

It's never that easy.

Spanish Garlic Shrimp and Scallop Saute - Garlic, shrimp & scallops take center stage in this classic Spanish dish, which is served as a tapa in Spain but also makes a great main dish

He travels a lot, and it's always better when he's home.

On cold winter days, he builds us a fire, and the house smells cozy and feels peaceful.  The puppies oscillate between a spot right in front, to the back yard to cool off.  I wish for a snow day, so we could put on our hats and boots and go for a walk amongst the flakes, and look for funny snowmen.

Mostly I wish for days that aren't grey

I wonder how many times I've whispered “I love you's” into the crook of his neck.  Does he believe me when I say it or does he think it's like playing back an answering machine message every day for years?  Does he know it's not a prompted knee bounce?  A marital reflex test?

He's just a man who walks around in his bathrobe and starts conversations with “How can I help around here today?”  I'm just a woman who sends emails with subject lines “Hey .. I was listening to NPR and ..”  Who's introverted (probably to a fault), and can't fall asleep until my feet are warm and tucked underneath Harry at night. I don't ask him if he knows gratitude tumbles out

when I open my mouth to breathe

Spanish Garlic Shrimp and Scallop Saute - Garlic, shrimp & scallops take center stage in this classic Spanish dish, which is served as a tapa in Spain but also makes a great main dish

I don't want him to know I was teary when he drove Eli around in calculated circles.  Letting him yell at the top of his lungs, for no other reason than they're boys and they could.  That my heart fluttered when he told him stories and took us out for pink ice cream.  How he always knows when I'm nearing my three-year-old activity limit and am too proud to admit it

I let my eyes drop, pretending I'm tired.  I want him to know that I need him.  I'm fiercely independent, guarded, and it's hard for me to admit

— —

He asks me what I'm working on and I tell him “Nothing really”  

He knows differently but smiles, gives me a forehead kiss, and says “I love you”

I've been awful about sleeping as of late.  The world feels heavy and chaotic.  I'm doing my best to decipher (or escape from) it all. Let me capture these thoughts, finish a chapter in the book by my bedside, putter around in the quiet.  I know in the morning he'll sit by the bed and hold my hand to wake me up; it's this way every day.

As I type, the puppies are sleeping because it's either very early or very late.  I'd love to know what they dream of.  Harry barks softly in his sleep and moves his legs like he's chasing a squirrel.  Sally's whimpers wake me sometimes as she lays against the comma of my body.  I know soon after I'm asleep she'll move to a cooler spot on the floor, and a kitty will take her place

She presses a warm nose kiss to my cheek before running for her ball.  She doesn't worry if she feels too much.  I envy her freedom, her ability to give as she wishes.

Spanish Garlic Shrimp and Scallop Saute - Garlic, shrimp & scallops take center stage in this classic Spanish dish, which is served as a tapa in Spain but also makes a great main dish

My husband and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary this week

I'm reminded of a friend who long-ago wore boots under her wedding dress.

They were an engagement gift from her father, an adventure-loving outdoorsman.  In the congratulations card, he wrote of the similarities between breaking in boots and breaking in marriage.  That it takes time.  That it takes determination.  That it gets hard before it gets easy.  That you wear them anyway.

That it’s worth it.

That someday, years down the road, after many miles walked; you’ll realize they’re finally a pretty good fit after all

Spanish Garlic Shrimp and Scallop Saute - Garlic, shrimp & scallops take center stage in this classic Spanish dish, which is served as a tapa in Spain but also makes a great main dish

Some of my husband's favorite things to eat?  Seafood and pasta

Spurred on by many days of cloudy skies and puh-lenty of grey this winter, I've spent an unnatural amount of time mulling over ideas for ways to add more seafood into our menus.  I wanted to do something a little different from the standard tomato sauce, chopped seafood pan.  I also wanted to keep things a bit lighter than some of the cream-based classics.

I finally got around to giving this one a shot this week, and it was great!

Sweet shrimp, scallops, and tomatoes in garlicky wine sauce make me think of a tapas bar snacks.

Serve over brown rice or pasta.  I image it would be incredible eaten out of the pan, the leftover sauce at the bottom would be ideal sopping-up liquid for good bread

A note about garlic:  It might seem like a lot, but I'd encourage you to give it a go.  I de-germed them and cut them in fairly thick slices; a must in order not to burn them as the shrimp cook



~ Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Spanish Garlic Shrimp and Scallop Saute


  • 16 fresh or frozen medium shrimp (8 ounces)
  • 8 fresh or frozen sea scallops (8 ounces)
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp fine grain sea salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp brown sugar
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice (fresh is best)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped fine
  • 3 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped fine
  • For serving
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice (or small pasta of your choice)


  • Peel and de-vein the shrimp, leaving tails intact if desired. Halve scallops horizontally.
  • Rinse shrimp and scallops; pat dry with paper towels. Set aside
  • In a large resealable plastic bag combine the flour, paprika, ¼ tsp of the sea salt, the sugar, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
  • Seal bag; shake to combine before adding the shrimp and scallops
  • Seal bag and shake again until the shrimp and scallops are coated. Set aside.
  • Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add garlic and the remaining ¼ tsp sea salt; cook and stir for 30 seconds.
  • Add shrimp and scallops to the pan in an even layer; cook for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in tomatoes, broth, vermouth, and lemon juice; cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp and scallops are opaque, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat; stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, the parsley, and chives.
  • Serve in shallow bowls with hot cooked brown rice or pasta
Serves: 2
Nutrition + Show
Calories 470
Total Fat 4.5g
Saturated Fat 1.1g
Carbohydrates 64.1g
Fiber 5.1g
Sugars 4.9g
Protein 31.3g
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  • Reply Elizabeth O. February 4, 2017 at 7:24 am

    Can this get any more delicious??? WOW! That’s just something that I would totally enjoy, hence, I am keeping the recipe. I think we often have this idea about love when we’re younger and it all changes the more we experience it. I’m glad that you found the perfect partner that you’ll grow old with.

  • Reply Ann February 4, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Your pictures are so vibrant!! I love pasta and shrimp- will be saving this recipe!!

  • Reply Sabrina February 4, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Congrat for your anniversary! Pasta and seafood is also the fav food of my fiancé; we are Italians and he comes from a sea city so he’s particularly fond of fish and seafood. Good recipe, really! I’ll try to follow your instructions to surprise him!

  • Reply Candy February 4, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    I know great food is all about the taste but man does this dish look so pretty and delicious.

  • Reply Rochelle February 4, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Omg this sounds amazing! I’ve been searching for a new pasta dish!

  • Reply Rochelle February 4, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    I’ve been searching for a new pasta dish! I can’t wait to try this.

  • Reply Nina February 5, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Congrats on your anniversary! I’m glad you have someone that fits and works. Also I totally bookmarked this recipe as I think I will try it this week!

  • Reply Amber February 5, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    5 stars
    Congratulations on your anniversary and I love this recipe ( I love all your recipes in fact Ali )

    • Reply sexyveggie February 6, 2017 at 2:14 am

      Thank-you so very much Amber

  • Reply Rhian February 6, 2017 at 4:10 am

    Wow this dish sounds amazing, and the photos are stunning x

  • Reply Miss Kim February 6, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Your pictures look delicious. I love how your colors pop. I enjoyed reading about your relationship with your hubs.

    And I’m Korean, so there’s no such thing as too much garlic.

  • Reply Ana February 6, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Aw hun congrats on your anniversary and so sorry to hear about your poor quality of sleep. What a lovely recipe though as always x

  • Reply Robyn February 6, 2017 at 10:01 am

    I love shrimp anything, this sounds delish!

  • Reply Francesca February 6, 2017 at 10:42 am

    This looks and sounds so delicious !

  • Reply E. Roman February 6, 2017 at 10:52 am

    5 stars
    Congrats on your anniversary but also I love how you wrote this piece and how you were able to insert a delicious recipe along with beautiful wording. The images capture a feast!

  • Reply Chrissa February 6, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Your writing is so so so beautiful! I was totally sucked in. Have you considered writing a book?! Oh and PS this dish looks amazing 🙂

    • Reply sexyveggie February 6, 2017 at 8:50 pm

      Oh Chrissa .. thank-you so very much 🙂

  • Reply Krysten February 6, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Congrats on your wedding anniversary! I love scallops and seafood so much, pretty much my favorite foods. I would love this dish!

  • Reply Laina February 6, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    5 stars
    Wow! What an absolutely delicious meal and so much color! Congrats on your anniversary!

  • Reply chichi February 6, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    garlic and shrimp are my fav ingredients and this is so yum, many congrats on ur anniv!

  • Reply Ruthie Ridley February 6, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Any pasta dish and I am in!! I love this meal!!

  • Reply Rae February 6, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Oh my goodness, this looks absolutely delicious!! I’ll have to swing by the fish market this weekend so I can try this recipe out for myself.

  • Reply Jules February 6, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    Yummy! Your pictures always look so appetizing. Now if only I can taste through the screen so I don’t have to do the cooking myself!

  • Reply Dawn February 7, 2017 at 1:15 am

    Happy Anniversary, this meal is perfect for a romantic celebration.

  • Reply Kimberly February 7, 2017 at 4:23 am

    This looks absolutely delicious! Pasta is a romantic meal and perfect for an anniversary dinner. 🙂

  • Reply Imogen February 7, 2017 at 4:55 am

    5 stars
    This looks amazing! I’m not usually a fan of shrimp but I think I want to make this recipe, pasta is such a comfort food and this just looks great!

  • Reply Kathy February 7, 2017 at 7:11 am

    Great read!! And oh my this dish looks so yummy! I am adding it to my must-try recipes.

  • Reply Jennifer L February 8, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    5 stars
    Can I say first hand your food photography is just out of this world. The second is that shrimp& scallop dish looks absolutely incredible. I love the kick it has. yum!

  • Reply Anwar February 18, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    5 stars
    Oh wow this mouth watering dish and it looks soo yummy, and your presentation is beautifully done 😀

  • Reply Lisa prince February 23, 2017 at 11:11 am

    if you wanted to woo my husband this would be the way to do it he would love this x

  • Reply Sarah Bailey February 23, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    I thoroughly enjoy reading your stories, they are quite mesmerizing. Being an introvert and letting someone really in, especially after already having a failed relationship can be really hard but it sounds like your husband really understands you. Congratulations on your anniversary! This recipe sounds wonderful, I like the idea of serving on brown rice to cut down on the carbs a bit.

  • Reply Joanna February 23, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    5 stars
    This dish looks delicous i do enjoy looking at your recipes. I’ve not tried scallops before.

  • Reply Rhian Westbury February 23, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Congrats on your anniversary, sounds like a yummy recipe x

  • Reply Jodie Whitham February 23, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    I think we grow up having made high expectations of people (for relationships), I know i do. Then somehow they disappoint. Some things live up to expectations. Good to hear that you’ve learnt from it and happier now 🙂 love the look of the yummy recipe x

  • Reply Laura February 24, 2017 at 12:35 am

    Oh wow this looks absolutely INCREDIBLE!! I would LOVE to make them. I think I’d serve with broccoli and some roasted new potatoes rather than pasta purely because I’m into that combo right now! xxx

  • Reply Donna Ashworth February 24, 2017 at 2:58 am

    wow wow wow this looks so delicious! I am definitely going to give this one a go, maybe even this weekend! Thx for sharing x

  • Reply Jemma February 24, 2017 at 4:21 am

    This looks delicious!! Great photographs too 🙂

  • Reply Stephanie Merry February 24, 2017 at 4:41 am

    Congratulations on the anniversary! And I have to say this dish looks incredible! x

  • Reply hannah February 24, 2017 at 5:34 am

    Not sure i would go for this as i don’t like garlic. It looks good for people who don’t mind it

  • Reply Anosa February 24, 2017 at 9:15 am

    ohhh…looking at the picture makes me crave for some! i’ll definitely cook this too!

  • Reply Emily Leary February 24, 2017 at 9:28 am

    This looks absolutely delicious, I love the sweetness of cherry tomatoes in dishes like this.

  • Reply Melanie February 24, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    This looks like a really pretty dish bursting with flavour, yum! I may need to try this.

  • Reply Isabella February 24, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    4 stars
    Congratulations on your wedding anniversary x this dish looks wonderful and really flavoursome…we’re fans of garlic and shrimp xx

  • Reply Stephanie Cummings February 24, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    Congrats on your anniversary and this looks like a cracking dish. Love how vibrant the photos are x

  • Reply melissa major February 24, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    This looks very nice, I have never made a shrimp and scallop saute before

  • Reply Rachel February 24, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Oh this sounds and looks delicious! I might have to try and re-create this! xo

  • Reply Emma February 24, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    I love seafood pasta and love the fact that this has both shrimps and scallops – you very rarely get scallops in a pasta sauce so it’s a really nice change. Need to go and buy some fresh seafood to try it out!

  • Reply Sarah February 25, 2017 at 3:30 am

    Even thought I’d never eat that due to the shrimp being in there it actually looks amazing. Your pictures are so beautiful. Congrats on your anniversary x

  • Reply Rachel February 25, 2017 at 4:36 am

    This not only sounds incredible but the way you have presented it is making my mouth water x

  • Reply Lindsey February 25, 2017 at 9:18 am

    That is literally my idea of heaven! What a perfect meal!

  • Reply Tanya Brannan February 25, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Oh my gosh this just sounds so scrumptious! It looks pretty amazing too and not too tricky to make either xx

  • Reply Lilinha February 25, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    I love scallops and your recipe with shrimp looks just too delicious! 🙂

  • Reply Charlotte February 28, 2017 at 4:13 am

    I’m not a fan of seafood but my husband would love this! May have to spoil him.

  • Reply Maria Han March 1, 2017 at 4:26 am

    Sounds like a yummy recipe, I bet my hubby would love this too, I want to give it a try

  • Reply Tanya March 1, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Happy Anniversary! Loved reading about you and your husband and getting a little glimpse into your lives. I love scallops so this is definitely a dish I’ll have to try out

  • Reply Katie Kinsley May 30, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    This recipe looks perfect to try out during a weeknight. It doesn’t look too difficult to make!

  • Reply Eboni Dixon February 28, 2018 at 6:11 am

    Thank you for investing time and sacrifice to share these pieces of your heart. So many of your recipes have become showstopper staples in my life and I have you to thank. I am slow to try new recipes for fear of not liking them and too much effort, but your break those fears with your delightful writing. Seriously, thank you. I am looking forward to making this one. So far my favorites of yours are the Drip Beef, Greek Yogurt Pancakes, Vegetable Risotto, and Fig Tart. Your oatmeal and rice pudding recipes are also on my list to make.

  • Reply Abby June 15, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    Ok, so this made me laugh first with the ketchup then cry because , well .. you know. Love you !

  • Reply Anita Raj January 21, 2020 at 11:05 am

    4 stars
    Congratulations on your anniversary. I found your recipe on one of friend’s post. Actually i am looking for new dish and this recipe is looking amazing!!

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  • Reply Blanca December 14, 2022 at 4:48 am

    5 stars
    Lovely photos! This recipe sounds yummy

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