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Sunday, April 07, 2013

Shrimp Time

Shrimp Time

Shrimp are all categorized according to the color of their shell. Pink shrimp can reach the largest size (jumbo shrimp) whereas the white shrimp has a high popularity among chefs because of its unique texture. Sea shrimps are mostly found in the Mediterranean area of Europe (Italy, Greece, and Spain), whereas in the US the majority of shrimp used in restaurants throughout North America are ocean shrimp. All throughout the south you can walk the wharfs and buy fresh shrimp right off the boats as they dock, from New Orleans to Tampa the sweetest shrimp is right there and the price is always right.

You can find fresh shrimp all year round (choose the raw non peeled headless shrimp) or when you must, frozen shrimp in your local supermarket. For a higher quality and more flavorful dish always choose fresh shrimp.

There is some confusion as to what are prawns and what are shrimp, the differences are subtle but are important. In the UK the word prawns are used while in North America shrimp is more common on his menu.

4 ounces shrimp = 120 calories, 2g fat, 0g sat fat, 0g mono fat, 23g protein, 1g carbohydrates, 167mg sodium, 170mg cholesterol, Vitamin K 0mcg

Sold by size, and the grading system, based on the number of shrimp per pound. Small shrimp will have 36 – 45 per pound, medium 31 – 35, large 21 – 30, extra large 16 – 20 and jumbo, which are 11 – 15 per pound. Colossal shrimp (less than 10 shrimp per lb.) is often referred to as Prawns in this country, although prawns are actually a different species. Salad shrimp have a count of 100-250 per pound.

Prawns are decapod crustaceans belonging to the sub-order Dendrobranchiata.               

Shrimp are decapod crustaceans belonging to the sub-order Pleocyemata.

Prawns are typically larger than shrimps.Shrimp are generally smaller than prawns.

Prawns have branching gills. Shrimp feature lamellar gills, which are plate-like in structure.

The second pincers of prawns are larger than the front ones. The front pincers of shrimp are typically the largest.

Prawns have longer legs than shrimp. Also, prawns usually have claws on three pairs of their legs             

Shrimp have shorter legs and have claws only on two pairs of legs.

Prawns:  Indian prawn, Giant river prawn, Tiger prawn  

Shrimp: White leg shrimp, Atlantic white shrimp, Pink, Dotted and Brown shrimp.

Since prawns are larger, you get fewer in number per pound, and subsequently priced higher per unit. Also, much as prawns and shrimp are similar in taste, prawns are considered more of a delicacy because of their size. Since shrimp are smaller in size, they get cooked slightly quicker than prawns. Sautéing shrimp for longer might make it rubbery and closer to dry fish. Other than that, they taste very similar to prawns.

Have you ever watched Forrest Gump and the  birth of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, they defined all sorts of shrimp dishes, there are: boiled shrimp, fried shrimp, sauteed shrimp, shrimp sandwiches, shrimp salad, shrimp Newbrug, shrimp casserole, shrimp Louis, shrimp pasta and so on and so on.
I have traveled throughout North America, the middle east, parts of Africa and south America, and have enjoyed shrimp/prawn dishes everywhere, I post a few for you here. All over the Fisherman's Wharf of San Francisco one finds street vendors selling what is really good, a sandwich made of fresh shrimp and or crab.

Fisherman's Wharf Shrimp & Crab Sandwich

1/2 lb. Crabmeat, picked over for shell
1/2 lb shrimp, cooked
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 lemon, juiced
4 sourdough rolls


Combine the crabmeat, shrimp, onion, celery, mayonnaise, sour cream and lemon juice. Refrigerate for an hour or so, then serve on split sourdough buns.

Louisiana Stuffed Shrimp

24 uncooked 15-20 count jumbo shrimp (about 2 pounds)
1 pound fresh crab meat, thoroughly drained and picked over
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions, including 3 inches of green tops
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley, preferably Italian flat-leaf
1 teaspoon Chef K's Creole seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup flour
2 cups soft fresh crumbs made from French or Italian bread, pulverized in a blender
Vegetable oil for deep frying
1 lemon, cut lengthwise into 6 wedges

In a heavy 10 to 12-inch skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat, add the onions, scallions, celery, green pepper and garlic and, stirring frequently, cook for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft but not brown. Stir in the crab meat, parsley, red pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and remove the pan from the heat. Taste the stuffing mixture for seasoning.

Shell the shrimp, leaving the last section of the shell and the tail intact. Devein them by making a shallow incision down their backs with a small sharp knife and lifting out the black or white intestinal vein with the point of the knife. Wash the shrimp briefly in a colander set under cold running water, spread them on paper towels to drain and pat them completely dry with fresh paper towels.

Butterfly the shrimp by cutting along their outer curves about three quarters of the way through and carefully flattening them with the palm of your hand. Sprinkle the shrimp with the remaining teaspoon of salt and spoon the stuffing mixture in a band down the center of each shrimp, dividing it equally among them. Fold the long edges of the shrimp back together, and hold them in place with toothpicks if necessary.

Combine the eggs and evaporated milk in a shallow bowl and beat them with a wire whisk or a fork until the mixture is smooth. Spread the flour and the bread crumbs on separate plates or pieces of wax paper. One at a time, roll the shrimp in the flour to coat them evenly, immerse them in the beaten-egg mixture, and turn them about in the bread crumbs. As you proceed, arrange the breaded shrimp side by side on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate the shrimp for about 1 hour to firm their coating.

Preheat the oven to its lowest setting. At the same time, line a large shallow baking dish with a double thickness of paper towels and place it on the middle shelf of the oven. If you have used toothpicks to secure the shrimp, remove them.

Pour vegetable oil into a deep fryer or large heavy saucepan to a depth of 2 or 3 inches and heat the oil until it reaches a temperature of 375°F on a deep-frying thermometer.

Deep-fry the shrimp, 3 or 4 at a time, turning them gently with a slotted spoon for 4 to 5 minutes, or until they crisp and brown on all sides. As they brown, transfer them to the paper-lined dish and keep them warm in the oven while you deep-fry the rest.
Arrange the shrimp attractively on a deep platter, garnish with the lemon wedges and serve at once.

Crevettes en Amour (Shrimp in Love)

18 u10 tiger prawns
5 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
4 tbsp flour
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup 35% cream
1/2 cup champagne
3 tbsp Pernod liqueur
1/2 cup salad shrimp

Peel, de-vien and butterfly the prawns. Melt 2 tbsp of the butter and brush over the prawns. Sprinkle with the paprika, place on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 10 minutes.

Melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan, add the mushrooms and saute for 5  minutes. Add the flour and continue to cook for 2 minutes on low heat. Add the liquids and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the salad shrimp and remove from the heat.

Plate the broiled prawns and pour the sauce over, serve at once.

From Chef K's Simply Delicious Cooking 2

Apricot Raspberry Shrimp

Shrimp, prawns and other seafood are called by the French as: Fruits de Mer so why not mix shrimp with fruit, very good. From Chef K's Simply Delicious Cooking 2

1/2 lb. Peeled, stoned apricots
1 lb. Raspberries
1/2 cup apple juice
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 cups court bouillon
2 1/2 lbs. 21-25 count peeled and de-veined shrimp

Place the apricot and raspberries into a food processor and process until smooth, strain through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Add the apple juice and lemon juice and simmer into a reduced sauce.
While the sauce simmers heat the court bouillon in a separate pot, blanch the shrimp in the court bouillon until just done 10-15 minutes).

Plate the shrimp and serve with the sauce.
Shrimp Gumbo

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoon flour
1 each onion, yellow, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 each green bell pepper, chopped
2 cups tomatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups seafood or chicken broth
1 tbsp Chef K's Creole seasoning
1 sprig thyme
Salt and pepper
1 10 oz. Package frozen okra, thawed and sliced into small pieces
1 pound shrimp 21-25 count, peeled, de-veined
2 pinches cayenne pepper
1 dash Tabasco


In a heavy skillet add the butter and melt, add the flour and over low heat cook into a very dark roux (black, roux noir),add and  sauté the onion, celery and green pepper in the roux for a couple of minutes. Then add the tomatoes, broth, Chef K seasoning, herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer for about 20 minutes.Add the Okra and Shrimp and cook for about 5 more minutes, until shrimp are done. Adjust heat with cayenne and hot sauce. Serve over cooked white rice.

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