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HOW TO COOK SHRIMP

There are many recipes out there that can get very complicated. Here I am giving you some very simple ways of preparing great tasting shrimp.

BAKE SHRIMP

Clear Noodles with Baked Shrimp

Baked Shrimp—Click picture for photo credits

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Butter a baking dish or sheet pan.
Place the shrimp on the pan so they are not touching each other.
You can baste with melted butter, add a drop of lemon juice or add seasoning. Any or all will work but none are absolutely necessary.
You will have to watch them close so they don’t get over done. A good estimate is 5 minutes for shrimp ½ inch thick. They are done when they turn opaque, but don’t let them get overdone.

BOIL SHRIMP

Old Bay Boiled Shrimp

Boiled Shrimp—Click picture for photo credits

Shrimp can be boiled with the shells and head on or pre-cleaned. Either way they should be totally thawed, either in the refrigerator overnight or under cold running water. Remove the dark vein on the back before cooking. Many people believe shrimp boiled in the shell have more flavor.
Have a pan large enough to hold the shrimp with about 2 inches of water above the shrimp.
Add the water to the pan and season it if you like. Plain salt or something like Old Bay Seasoning will work fine.
Bring the water to a rapid boil. Turn the water down to a simmer and add the shrimp.
Cook for 1 -5 minutes, depending on the size. When a couple of them float to the top they will be done. The thickest part of the shrimp should be opaque white.
Immediately put them in ice water to stop the cooking, and drain in a colander. They turn to rubber if over cooked.
If serving hot skip the ice water.

BROIL SHRIMP

broiled shrimp with zhough

broiled shrimp—Click picture for photo credits

You will need about 1 cup of olive oil or melted butter, with your choice of seasonings added to it. I just use salt, pepper, garlic and a touch of lemon juice.
Rinse the shrimp under cold running water and pat dry.
Put them in the oil or butter and stir to coat them. Put in the refrigerator and let marinate for 30 minutes.
Have the broiler rack set about 6 inches from the heat.
Pre-heat the broiler.
Put aluminum foil on a broiling pan and lay the shrimps out in a single layer.
Broil them for about 3-4 minutes, watching closely so they don’t burn. Turn the shrimp over and broil another 3-4 minutes or until they turn opaque.

DEEP FRY SHRIMP

Fried Shrimp

Fried Shrimp—Click picture for photo credits

When you deep fry shrimp, they are totally submerged in hot fat or oil. The pan used for deep frying should be deep enough to hold 2 to 3 inches of hot fat. A 4 to 6 inch deep pan is good because it helps to control spattering. If possible a conventional deep fryer works best.
The best oils to use are peanut oil, corn oil and canola oil in that order.  Put enough oil in the pan to make sure the shimp can float, usually 2 to 3 inches.
1. Heat the oil to 360 degrees. A deep frying thermometer is the best way to regulate heat. If you don’t have a thermometer, wet you finger with water and flick it at the hot oil. If the oil is hot enough it will sizzle when the water hits the oil. You don’t need much water, just a small drop. Do not let the oil get too hot. If it starts to smoke it is too hot.
2. Prepare the batter or breading for the shrimp.
3. Bread or batter the shrimp and lower them gently into the hot fat. If you are using a conventional deep fryer have the basket in the oil before you add the shrimp. Do not put them in the basket and then submerge or the breading will get stuck on the basket and you will lose some of it. Do not crowd the shrimp. It is better to fry them in batches. If you put to many pieces in the hot fat at one time it will lower the temperature of the oil and cause them to be greasy.
4. Deep fry the shrimp until golden brown, usually about 2 to 6 minutes, depending on the thickness.
5. When they are done drain them. Placing them on a rack above a cookie sheet works great but if you don’t have that paper towels on a plate will work.

BATTERS FOR DEEP FRYING

BEER BATTER
Combine;  ½ cup of flour
½ teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon paprika
½ cup beer
2 tablespoons cooking oil

Breading for deep frying

Combine;  2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
Beat the eggs and milk together lightly.
Dip the shrimp in the egg mixture then in dry bread crumbs or cracker
crumbs.

GRILL SHRIMP

Shrimp
Have the grill pre-heated to a medium high heat. You should be able keep you hand where the shrimp will be for 4 seconds before you have to move it.
Have the shrimp peeled and deveined. Many people, including me, believe they have a better flavor when cooked with the shells left on. If you do this, cut through the back of the shell with a scissors. Run a knife down the back and remove the dark vein.
Rinse the shrimp under cold running water and pat dry.
It is easiest to cook them on the grill if you put them on a skewer first. If you use wooden skewers, soak them in water for an hour before using.
Baste the shrimp with olive oil or melted butter that has been seasoned. Salt, pepper and garlic powder is all I use fine.
Place them on the grill and cook for about 3 minutes, then flip them for another 3 minutes.  Watch closely so they don’t burn or get over done. Shrimp will be opaque all the way through the thick end when they are done.

PANFRY FISH

panfry shrimp

saute Shrimp—Click picture for photo credits

To panfry shrimp or to sauté shrimp are basically the same thing. Sauteing , however generally uses less oil but the method is the same.
Thaw the shrimp, if frozen and rinse under cold, running water and pat dry. Once dry season with salt, pepper and a little garlic powder. For a better flavor skip the garlic powder and use chopped fresh garlic.
Melt about 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan. Olive oil or a combination of butter and olive oil can also be used. If you are using the fresh garlic add it to the pan and cook for a couple minutes before adding the shrimp.
Add the shrimp and pan fry for 1-5 minutes, depending on their size. Flip the shrimp often and cook until they are opaque. When you panfry shrimp they will curl up when cooked and will look like the letter C when they are done. If they look like the letter O they will be over-done.

STEAM SHRIMP

Steamed Shrimp

Steamed Shrimp–Click picture for photo credits

In the steaming process the shrimp never touch the water but are suspended above the water on a rack. Use a pan big enough to hold a steamer rack or a conventional steamer. Many sets or pots and pans have something set up for steaming. An inverted bowl can be used with a rack or plate on top of it just high enough to keep the shrimp out of the water and allowing the pan to be covered.
Place 1-2 inches of water into the pan and add the steamer rack.
Bring the water to a boil.
Place the shrimp on the rack and cover the pan.
When the steam starts to escape from the pot, start timing. About 3 minutes should be enough.
Check after 2 minutes. They are done when the shrimp turn opaque. Shrimp will curl up when cooked. They will look like the letter C when they are done. If they look like the letter O they will be over-done.
When they are done, immediately put them in ice water to stop the cooking, and drain in a colander. They turn to rubber if over cooked.
If serving hot skip the ice water.

If you are looking for information on fish with fins check out this site. tocookafish.com There is information on over 80 types of fish sold in the United States and methods for preparing them.

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