Shrimp so many ways
One of the most simple and delicious ways to eat shrimp is boiled, with or without cocktail sauce.
There are a lot of shellfish I like, such as clams, mussels, crab, lobster, scallops and oysters, but the one I prepare the most happens to be shrimp. This is due to their availability and price. None of it is cheap, but shrimp seem to be in the running for the best bargain. Maybe it’s because their shells are light and don’t weigh as much as the shells of other seafood. (This is true if you buy shrimp that have had heads removed. One time I bought live shrimp right off a fishing boat, as the price per pound was pretty good. That was the day I learned that their heads are about 50 percent of their weight.)
Anyway, shrimp lend themselves very well to many recipes, so many I lost count long ago.
Sometimes I just want to eat them peel-and-eat style, perhaps with some cocktail sauce. Here are some recipes featuring that delightful crustacean of the ocean.
2 pounds raw extra-large (16 to 20 per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons taco seasoning
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 lime, juiced
1 onion, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 bell peppers (any color), sliced into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Small (or use medium, but not the tiny ones) flour tortillas
Fresh cilantro, chopped
1. In a large bowl, make a marinade by mixing together the taco seasoning, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and lime juice. Toss shrimp in marinade, stir to coat and set aside.
2. In a large cast iron skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add peppers and onions and cook, stirring, until edges begin to char, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove vegetables from skillet and set aside.
3. Add shrimp to skillet and arrange in a single layer. Flip shrimp over after 2 minutes and cook on other side until pink through, being careful not to overcook. (Note: I find that I enjoy the taste and texture of shrimp much more when they are cooked longer than usually recommended. Just go with your preference, but if you like them firmer, know that you’re not alone. I don’t want squishy shrimp.)
4. Add peppers and onions back into skillet and stir until everything is combined. Remove from heat and serve immediately with warm tortillas and topped with fresh cilantro and avocado or your other favorite toppings, such as sour cream, salsa, chopped green onions, tomatoes, shredded cheese or shredded cabbage. Makes 6 servings.
Lemon garlic butter shrimp with asparagus
1 1/2 pounds medium, raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 pounds asparagus (about 1 bunch), rinsed and trimmed
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced (or more, to taste)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons onion powder
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon Sriracha, or other hot sauce you may prefer
Crushed dried red pepper flakes, optional
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped, for garnish
Lemon slices and crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1. Place a large non-stick skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the asparagus and season to taste with salt and pepper. Saute the asparagus until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes, depending on thickness. Remove sauteed asparagus from skillet and set aside.
2. In the same skillet, add remaining 2 tablespoons butter and add shrimp. Season with salt and pepper and cook shrimp for about 2 minutes on one side.
3. Add the minced garlic, Italian seasoning and onion powder to the shrimp. Stir to combine and flip the shrimp to cook on the opposite side. Cook shrimp for 1 minute then add 1/4 cup vegetable stock and Sriracha. Allow the sauce to reduce for 1 to 2 minutes, making sure not to overcook the shrimp (unless you are like me and like them cooked longer).
4. Push the cooked shrimp to the side and add asparagus back to the skillet. Stir asparagus to coat them in the sauce and squeeze half a lemon over the top of the cooked shrimp and asparagus. Allow reheating for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove cooked shrimp and asparagus from heat, garnish with parsley or cilantro, lemon slices, and red crushed chili pepper if you like. Makes 4 servings.
Creamy shrimp with sun-dried tomatoes and spinach
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon flour
4 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 dashes Italian seasoning
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped or julienned
1 cup (packed) fresh baby spinach
Handful fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
1. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add flour and cook about 1 minute, stirring until smooth. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
2. Stir in cream, lemon juice, Italian seasoning and sun-dried tomatoes. Simmer for 2 minutes. Reduce heat if it is bubbling too much.
3. Add shrimp and cook for about 5 minutes or until they are thoroughly cooked and the sauce is slightly thickened, taking care not to overcook them (again, this is according to your preference).
4. Add the spinach and basil and cook for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately. Great with a salad and crusty bread. Makes 4 servings.
Citrus shrimp avocado salad
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 cups salad greens
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup citrus vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1 medium avocado, sliced
1. Whisk together olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice, kosher salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Pour into a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook until the juices have reduced by half, about 5 minutes. If using fresh shrimp, add the shrimp to the juices, cover, and cook until the shrimp are pink, about 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and toss with parsley. If using thawed frozen shrimp, pour the reduced citrus juices into a bowl and set aside. Add the shrimp to the skillet, cover and cook until pink, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, pour in the reduced citrus juices and the parsley; toss until well mixed.
2. In a large bowl, add the salad greens, red onion, shrimp and avocado. Toss with half of the citrus vinaigrette dressing and serve with additional dressing on the side. Makes 6 servings.
Citrus vinaigrette dressing
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic
1. Whisk together all ingredients until well-combined and emulsified. Alternately, you may add all ingredients to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously until emulsified.