Shrimp Cooking Tips
Shrimp Preparation Tips
Thawing:Thaw shrimp in the refrigerator allowing eighteen to twenty-four hours per pound, or in cold running water allowing one to two hours per pound. Never thaw in hot water or at room temperature, and once thawed never re-freeze. Cook while partially chilled.
Shelling:Hold onto the tail while gently removing the shell around the body. At this point you can detach the tail completely, or leave it on for presentation purposes.
Deveining:After removing the shell, make a shallow cut lengthwise down the outer curve of the shrimp's body. You'll see the dark ribbon-like vein running lengthwise along the shrimp's back. Pick out the vein with a pointed utensil. Rinse the shrimp under cold running water. Note: if you have detached the tail, you can pinch the vein at the tail end and pull it completely out with your fingers.
Butterflying:First peel the main shell off the shrimp's body. Leaving the tail intact can lead to excellent presentation when serving. Start by cutting along the outer curve from the tail forward, making repeated shallow cuts and spreading the meat apart as you go. Leave just enough meat intact to keep the two sides connected. You will want to devein the shrimp as you are butterflying them as well.
Fresh Shrimp:Fresh shrimp should be used within a couple days as they are very perishable. Fresh shrimp can be frozen for use at a later time.
Shrimp Cooking Tips
Broiling:First, place the shrimp on a cutting board with the swimerets exposed. Using a sharp knife, cut between the swimerets through the meat to the shell. Spread the shell until it lies flat, and wash thoroughly in cold water. Season and prepare shrimp, then broil in oven for 4-5 minutes. Basting shrimp during broiling period is often a good habit to help prevent burnt edges.
Boiling:Bring water to boil. Put shrimp in and BEGIN TIMING NOW! (3 1/2 to 4 minutes) Don't wait for water to boil again. Serve warm or chilled. -This tip is brought to you by Wanda of Kentucky. This was her effort to find a way to boil shrimp so the shells don't stick to the meat.
Pan frying:Thaw shrimp if frozen. Pat dry with a paper towel before cooking. Heat 1/4 teaspoon olive oil in large skillet. Add shrimp and desired seasoning. Cook 3 to 5 minutes; do not overcook.
Deep frying:Dip shrimp in milk and then lightly dust with flour. Add to medium heated vegetable oil. Fry until golden brown.
Note: Always be careful to avoid over-cooking shrimp as they will toughen and lose their sweet flavor.