A Little Shrimp
"Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it." (Forrest Gump, 1994)
You can’t go wrong with shrimp.
Shrimp in America are known by their shell colors: pink, white and brown. While there are many species, deep-water shrimp between 3-4 inches long are most popular, along with giant tiger prawns, widely consumed in the Far East.
Shrimp are sold shelled or unshelled, cooked or raw, fresh or frozen, with or without the head, or already prepared, as in breaded, fried shrimp. The US coastal shrimp season runs May to October, but supermarkets carry shrimp year-round. Unless you live close to where they’re caught, your best bet is to buy frozen shrimp with shells on.
Frozen shrimp can stay frozen up to 4 months; fresh shrimp should be eaten immediately. Most supermarket “fresh” shrimp has been defrosted; cook thoroughly before refreezing. Peeled, deveined shrimp can get freezer burn. Beware black spots; a yellow shell can mean that the shrimp had been bleached. Don’t buy if there is a very fishy or ammonia aroma.
Defrost frozen shrimp in the refrigerator for approximately 48 hours, or by holding it under cold, running water until thawed. To remove shells from uncooked shrimp, use a sharp knife and cut along the back. Remove legs and shells with your fingers, leaving the tail. The “vein” along the back is actually a digestive tract; most people like their shrimp deveined. After cutting along the back, grab the vein with a small pick or your fingers and pull it out. Rinse shrimp.
Shrimp cook quickly. Try waiting until 5 minutes before a dish is done before adding shrimp. Steaming or boiling takes roughly 6 minutes; to stop shrimp cooking and becoming tough, plunge them into cold water.
Shrimp can be served simply, with lemon and cocktail sauce as appetizers, or as part of a soup or seafood dish. Ground shrimp paste is a base for soups, especially in the Far East.
Shrimp are sky high in protein and selenium and extremely low in calories, fat and saturated fat. Three ounces, cooked, have 166 mg of cholesterol, but that can fit into a heart-healthy eating plan as the American Heart Association recommends eating less than 300 mg of cholesterol per day. The unhealthy saturated fat content is extremely low for food so high in protein. Of course, preparation is important. If breaded and fried, for example, or stuffed with butter and crackers, the saturated-fat content increases significantly.
Today's recipes feature shrimp prepared in ways that add very little fat but lots of vegetables and spice! The recipes were selected using the Recipe Browser.
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