Wednesday, March 24, 2010

333 Shrimp

I spent last week visiting my grandmother in Florida. I associate these trips down to Boca Raton with eating out every night, alternating between the pool by the Intracostal and then the beach, and shopping 'til I drop with Nana at Loehmann's and Bloomingdales. But on my first night there, I spotted a sign for a local farmer's market just off the jostling strip of Atlantic Ave in Delray Beach. My parents and I woke up early Saturday morning and found ourselves momentarily whisked away from the world of beachfront condos to the more real, local Florida: tomatoes, avocados, and baby eggplant from a nearby farm, heritage breed chicken eggs, fresh gooey arepas, organic tea, homemade pickles, and mahi mahi and swordfish that had been caught the day before just 10 miles off the coast. The fish was so fresh and the staff so knowledgeable, we made a detour to Captain Clay and Sons Fish Market. There we picked up mahi mahi and large Florida shrimp for lunch.

When it comes to seafood, I try to do my part to choose sustainable products. The Monterey Bay Aquarium gives excellent advice about best bets for seafood and I try to adhere to their recommendations. As a result, I almost never eat shrimp anymore (the tales of imported shrimp are rather terrifying) except when I can get US-caught or farmed ones. So I jumped for joy at the chance to actually have my Florida prawns and eat them too.

This recipe is almost embarrassingly simple. The shrimp may not be super cheap, but they are worth the splurge. For one pound of shrimp, all you need is three of everything, from minutes of cooking time to tablespoons of seasoning. It will take less than 5 minutes for these beauties to be in your belly. Eat them hot or chilled with a large salad on the side. Make sure to have plenty of paper towels handy!

333 Shrimp
Serves 2 generously
  • 1 lb large US-caught shrimp
  • 3 T Old Bay Seasoning
  • 3 T water
  • lemon or key lime wedges of serving
In a small pot, place the shrimp, Old Bay, and water. Stir with a fork to cover shrimp in seasoning. The water should just barely cover the bottom of your pan. Place lid on tightly and heat over high heat. Every 30 seconds or so, give the pot a good shake. Cook for about 3 minutes and 30 seconds until shrimp are cooked through. Serve hot or chill in the fridge for an hour before serving. Garnish with citrus.

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