The first time I served this at a party I was blown away by how quickly it went…and how annoyed people were that I didn’t have anymore of it. I mean really, it’s basically shrimp scampi combined with cream and cheeses…you know you want some.
Since the holiday season is rapidly approaching quicker than what I would like to admit I thought I would start featuring some holiday party fare.
The best thing about this dip, other than of course the flavors is that it can be prepared ahead of time 24 hours in advance. Which every hostess loves to hear.
This is best if kept warm, I usually just put it in my small crock pot on warm through out the evening.

Hot Scampi Dip

1 pound deveined, peeled raw shrimp
4 TBSP unsalted butter
1/3 cup minced shallots
3 TBSP minced garlic
3 TBSP dry white wine
1/8 cup chopped fresh basil
¼ cup chopped green onions or chives
2/3 cup half-and-half
8 ounces cream cheese
4 ounces Fontina or White Cheddar Cheese, grated
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp chile flakes
2 tsp dried thyme
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
pepper to taste

Chop the shrimp.
Heat 3 TBSP of the butter in a saute pan to bubbling. Add the shallots and saute to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and saute, stirring, until pink and firm, about 4 minutes. Add the white wine and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes to loosen all of the pan juices. Set aside.
Combine the basil and green onion in a bowl.
Heat the half-and-half in a saucepan over medium heat until hot, but not boiling. Whisk in the cream cheese in chunks until well blended. Add the Fontina cheese and ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese by handfuls, whisking until thoroughly melted. Add the chile flakes, thyme, half of the green onion mixture and all of the cooked shrimp mixture. Whisk to blend and simmer gently for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a ½ quart serving/baking dish. The dish can be completed through this stage and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 400F. Sprinkle the top with the remaining Parmesan cheese and drizzle with remaining TBSP of melted butter. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until browned and bubbling. Served sprinkle with remaining green onion mixture.

This also goes really well on top of pasta. Just skip the pouring into a baking dish and toss with some prepared pasta. Yum.

Adapted from Cooking for Company by Nicole Aloni