I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the underdog, for the unsung hero and those that just cannot seem to catch a break. With so many foods to choose from, it makes it nearly impossible to keep up with the munchie of the moment or the cuisine célèbre. Therefore, I admit without apology, I feel sorry for iconic shrimp -- the butt of so many jokes and not even marginally attractive. They are dubbed mere "bottom feeders" and seen as nothing more than a jumbo yet shrimpy oxymoron. Where has our humanity gone?
The Harvard School of Public Health agrees, pointing out that the omega-3s found in seafood lower blood pressure and heart rate, improve blood vessel function and, at higher doses, have been found to lower triglycerides leading to a decrease in inflammation and according to Food.com, "Americans eat more shrimp than any other seafood, beating out even salmon and canned tuna in popularity."
Young and old, tall and well shrimps please I beg you, unite on May 10th National Shrimp Day -- a time to unabashedly pay homage to that which has sustained us for so long across the culinary continuum. From stir fry to peel 'em and eat, these unwavering staples of the sea have reason to be proud.
So what's the "beef" with our shrimp? Perhaps it is a lack of creativity or more specifically a fear of the unknown that keeps we the home cooks from diving into the endless possibilities. Maybe we live in haze of a culinary cloud that leads us to believe that the preparation is too complicated or time consuming? Either way, the facts must be revealed and once and for all we must support our fellow shrimp not just on National Shrimp Day, but every day of the year.
While I have taken a somewhat lighthearted look at shrimp, as a home cook who has limited skill in the kitchen I have found them to be not only easy to prepare, but highly versatile. Shrimp have a delicate seafood flavor that works well with various choices when incorporating fresh or prepared sauces. They cook very quickly making them an excellent choice for singles as well as families on the go. Delicious boiled, sautéed on the stove, or grilled in the backyard they simply help you make it happen for both the beginner cook and established chef.
If you are still not convinced on what to do and how to do it why not give this recipe a try and use frozen shrimp. I have found the selections from SeaPak to be the most reliable and flavorful.
Mexican Margarita Shrimp
1 1/2 Pounds large shrimp (26 to 30 count), peeled and deveined
1/4 Cup each lime juice, tequila and water
1/4 Cup finely chopped onion
Tablespoon olive oil
Cooked brown or white rice, and lime slice for garnish
Place shrimp in a shallow, glass dish. Combine lime juice and next 5 ingredients; add to shrimp and stir. Marinate, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Remove shrimp from marinade, reserving marinade, and thread onto 4 (15-inch) skewers, running skewer through each shrimp twice. Transfer marinade to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes; set aside. Coat grill rack with vegetable cooking spray. Place kebobs on grill rack 4 to 6 inches over medium hot coals. Grill, turning once, just until shrimp is opaque, allowing about 3 minutes on each side. Remove shrimp from skewers and arrange over rice; spoon some of the marinade over each serving. Garnish with lime slices.
Calories: 397 Fat: 6.44g Protein: 36g Sodium: 480mg Cholesterol: 299mg
Recipe courtesy of the National Shrimp Council