Saturday, November 10, 2012

quick! roasted shrimp

 Of course a well appointed pantry extends beyond dry goods!  I keep several bags of frozen shrimp in my freezer at all times.  It's one of the easiest and most versatile proteins to prepare in a pinch.  The best frozen shrimp are already peeled and deveined, with the tail on. You can find these details on the package. Frozen shrimp are sold by count to the pound.  Large shrimp are a 16-20 count.  I think this is the best size to use for a generous shrimp cocktail, tossed into a fresh salad, or prepared in a hot seafood entree.
 One of my favorite ways to prepare shrimp is to roast it.  Roasting the shrimp brings out its flavor and sweetness much more so than steaming.  I serve it with cocktail sauce as well as an aoli option.  If I'm in a pinch, I'll use good mayonnaise and season it with chipotle powder.  

Roasted Shrimp 


1lb frozen shrimp - raw, peeled and cleaned, with tail on
2 tlbs olive oil
rough pinch of the following spices - amounts can be adjusted to taste
  • cumin seed
  • curry powder
  • chili powder
  • red pepper flakes
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Aoli (shortcut version)
4 tlbs Dukes mayonnaise
1 tlbs chipotle powder

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Thaw shrimp by placing them into a colander in sink.  Fill the sink with a lukewarm water bath and let the shrimp soak for about 10 minutes.  It is important that the water not be too hot or the shrimp will begin to cook and therefore be tough by the time they come out of the oven.  Once the shrimp have thawed, remove them from the water bath, drain, and then place them onto a dish towel and pat dry.   Transfer the shrimp to large bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Season by sprinkling a rough pinch ( or two) of the spices listed above.  Be sparing with your salt until you have had a chance to taste the cooked shrimp.  Spread the shrimp onto a baking sheet and place into the hot oven.  Cook the shrimp for about 15 minutes.  The tails will turn pink, but the shrimp will stay fairly light.  Do not overcook, or they will be tough.   You can always pop them back into the oven if they are not cooked to your liking.

Mix 4 tablespoons of the mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon of chipotle power - and voila, you have an "aoli dipping sauce". 

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