When you think of shrimp recipes do pots and pans and measuring cups and spices pile up in your mental kitchen? There are simple ways to incorporate a shrimp recipe into your weekly menu without taking gourmet-cooking lessons.
A microwave can be your best friend for a simple scampi recipe that will bring comfort to your family. Treat your family to restaurant quality food at home with a seafood pasta recipe or a grilled shrimp recipe. Grilled recipes can be quickly prepared and served once you know the tricks of preparing the crustacean.
There are a variety of sizes including the popcorn or bay shrimp for tacos or salads, small tiger shrimp that can be purchased ready to cook, peel, and serve, medium sized which are the favorite for pasta, large sized which are the choice for shrimp cocktail, jumbo prawn for grilling, and the colossal tiger shrimp, for when you want to wow your crowd.
Of course, in order to successfully prepare the recipes, it is necessary to know how to buy quality shellfish. Larger shrimp cost more per pound, however, regardless of the size, the shellfish should be firm, moist, smell fresh, and have flesh that is translucent, or semitransparent. If there are any black spots or edges on the shells, and if there is any ammonia aroma, do not purchase them. Calculate 1 ½ pounds of raw, in-the-shell shrimp for every pound of shelled shrimp needed.
If you are fortunate enough to be near water and the source of locally sold shellfish, the quality of your cooking is going to increase immensely. Today most of the seafood on the market has been frozen. If your shrimp is frozen when purchased, be sure that it is solidly frozen and examine the pack for any signs of freezer burn, which negatively affects quality and flavor. Then leave it in the refrigerator overnight to thaw, or place under cold running water. If you are buying shrimp previously frozen but thawed, the flesh should remain firm and shiny.
You will need to peel and devein it. If your shellfish is processed and this step has been done for you, it is very possible that the flavor has been diminished due to the pre-processing. Using a small paring knife, make a light slit down the back from the head end to the tail. A black sand vein is frequently present in the center of the back. With the knife tip, you can remove it and then rinse the shrimp in running cold water. At this point, it is easy to cut it in half by placing the front on a cutting board and then cutting the flesh lengthwise. Make every effort to keep the prepared shrimp at the same temperature to ensure even results when cooking.
Shrimp recipes call for one of five general ways of preparing the shellfish. Boiling, broiling, sautéing, steaming, or baking shrimp give results that are tantalizing, tasty, and full of texture. A large spectrum of flavors and visual appeal is available. The main rule to keep in mind for recipes using fresh shrimp, regardless of the method of preparation, is to never over cook the shrimp. Now go enjoy!