Thursday, June 4, 2009

155. Spicy Lemon-Marinated Shrimp (p. 45)

How is The Book like Pvt. Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue? Well, as Bubba explained to Forrest Gump in one of the most memorable movie scenes ever, "shrimp is the fruit of the sea." And both Bubba and The Book know that shrimp can be prepared in innumerable delicious ways:
You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it.
But, wait, there's more ... so far in The Project, I've made Cilantro Lime Shrimp, Shrimp in Adobo Sauce, Pad Thai, and now this recipe* for Spicy Lemon-Marindted Shrimp. And that's just the beginning. According to The Book's index, I've got twenty-five more shrimp recipes to make.

The Book says that this recipe is a new take on the classic Southern pickled shrimp. I've never had pickled shrimp, so this was new to me. But this spicy, tangy, briny preparation might just be one of my favorite ways of eating shrimp.

First, I took all of the zest off of a large lemon with a vegetable peeler. Then I squeezed the juice from the lemon and put it in a bowl with the zest. Next, I ground some coriander seeds in a spice grinder and added them to the bowl. I whisked it all up with some white wine vinegar, olive oil, water, sugar, and a whole lot of salt. Finally, I added some pepper flakes. The Book calls for Aleppo chili flakes, but says that "plain old red pepper flakes" are fine, too, so that's what I used.

Next, I added some pickling spices and a whole lot more salt to a pot of boiling water, and boiled some shelled, deveined shrimp for about 90 seconds until they were cooked through. (By the way, thanks for the advice on deveining. I bought "deveined" shrimp from the grocery store, but this time, I didn't remove the vein along the inner curve of the shrimp. I didn't notice any difference in the flavor, and it was a lot less work.) I drained the shrimp and let them cool a little bit.

Then, I put the shrimp in a zip-top bag with the marinade and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight (The Book says to marinate for at least eight hours and up to three days.) I drained the shrimp, put them on a platter and served them as a appetizer at my family's Memorial Day cookout. These shrimp were very tasty. Salty, but tasty. The flavors of the lemon and all of the pickling spices combined in zesty, sweet and sour, puckery deliciousness. I really enjoyed this one.

Date Cooked: May 23, 2009
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Rating: A

* The recipe on feeds fify and calls for ten pounds(!) of shrimp. Unless you're a caterer, go with the recipe in The Book.

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