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Friday, April 15, 2011

How to Cook Shrimp

Here's the cocktail sauce we like to serve with our shrimp!

Buy 1 pound of fresh shrimp, which is about right for 2 people for a meal primarily of shrimp. We prefer ours with the heads off. If fresh, they should be gray in color; they start turning orange as they lose their freshness.

Get a colander and try it out in several of your tall pots. You want a colander/pot combination that will let your colander sit in the pot, suspended by the handles on the colander, inside the pot, without touching the bottom of your pot. You want a lid that will drop down onto the colander. It doesn't have to be too snug. You can also buy these enameled pots with lift-out strainer at the grocery stores

The idea here is that you will be boiling water in the bottom of the pot, which will be producing steam, but you don't want the water to rise up to the shrimp. It's OK for froth to rise up, but you are wanting to steam the shrimp, not boil them.

Pour the water into the colander. You don't want them to be crowded, as you want the steam to be able to work its way through them. We are able to cook 1 pound this way at a time, without over crowding them.

Keep the lid on until you see some steam coming out around the lid. Periodically lift the lid to see the shrimp. Using a long cooking spoon or ladle, stir the shrimp, so that all of the shrimp will get exposed to the steam.

Continue to periodically stir while steaming the shrimp, until all of the shrimp are a uniform orangish color - any gray means that shrimp is undercooked.

Pour onto a serving platter, pull off the shells, dip in the sauce, and eat!

Tip on taking the shell off: Pinch the shell at the first joint about the tail and pull, while with other hand hold at the bottom of the 2nd shell joint. This will remove 2/3 of the shell in one single stroke. Now remove the legs and shell in an easy twisting motion.

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