Stupendous Seafood

It's National Seafood Month! We have some great tips and recipes to get you in the spirit. Shrimp is one of our favorites. The word shrimp comes from the Middle English shrimpe,
meaning "pygmy". While shrimp may be small, they are anything but
shrimp-y in their nutrition profile. Low in calories and saturated fat, shrimp
are a wonderfully nutritious alternative to meat proteins. Shrimp also offers
beneficial doses of omega-3 fatty acids which improve heart health, offer
protection against Alzheimer's, and may improve mood and reduce depression.
Shrimp also provides great sources of vitamins and minerals including vitamin
B12, niacin, iron, selenium, zinc and copper. 
Shrimp2

 

At the market:
Shrimp are available fresh or frozen, and cooked and uncooked. When buying
uncooked, fresh shrimp avoid shells with black spots or ones that appear yellow
or gritty. Shrimp will smell a little fishy, but a strong ammonia odor is not
good.

 

Unless you live in the part of the country where you can
actually buy "fresh" shrimp, it is best to buy frozen shrimp.
Uncooked, frozen shrimp are often available with shells spilt and de-veined.
This saves prep time and is convenient. Look for a "best by" date on
the package and don't purchase "expired" packages. Shrimp should be
loose in the package - avoid a frozen block feel. This is a sign the package
thawed and was re-frozen.

 

Whichever you choose - fresh or frozen, Shrimp come in a
variety of sizes and they are priced accordingly. As a rule, the fewer number
of shrimp in a pound, the more expensive. Bigger is not always the best when
you're cooking shrimp. Here are a few guidelines to selecting the right size
shrimp for your family meals:

Adult only and special occasions:

10 shrimp or less = Colossal sometime called prawns

11 to 15 = Jumbo

Great for grilling, pan frying, and shrimp cocktail:

16 to 20 = Extra-large

21 to 30 = Large

Perfect for sauces, pasta dishes, and stir fries:

31 to 35 = Medium

 

Good for salads, soups and adding to dips:

36 to 45 = Small

More than 100 = miniature

 

Storage:

Fresh: Fresh
shrimp is highly perishable, refrigerate on the bottom shelf, which is the
coolest area of the fridge until ready to use. Fresh shrimp should be eaten
within 24 hours of purchase.

Frozen: Use
frozen shrimp within 6 months of purchase or before the "best by" date
on the package. Follow package instructions to defrost shrimp.

 

Preparation:
Overcooked shrimp are tough and rubbery. The key to cooking shrimp, regardless
of method, is to cook them quickly. Medium shrimp only take about 2 minutes to
cook; larger shrimp take 3 to 5 minutes. When they're pink, they are done. 

 

Kid-Friendly Treat:
Crispy Coconutty Shrimp

The tropical sweetness of coconut combined with shrimp is a
true winner. Served in many restaurants, coconut shrimp are often deep fried arriving
at your table dripping with unhealthy amounts of fat. This variation uses less
oil, delivers a crispy texture and restaurant quality flavor!

Make it fun - Get your kids involved in the prep. In this
recipe, you'll set up three dipping stations - the dredge, the liquid and the
crunch. The dipping steps are perfect tasks for little fingers (and your
fingers will stay clean for cooking). Plus their "I helped Mom make
dinner" pride will likely win over even the pickiest eater.

Ingredients:

12-15 large shrimp, shelled and de-veined

¼ cup cornstarch

½ tsp. salt

½ cup coconut milk

¾ cup panko crumbs*

¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut**

¼ cup vegetable oil

sweet and sour sauce for dipping

 

* Panko crumbs are Japanese bread crumbs. They are often
stocked in the Asian section of your supermarket.

** Unsweetened coconut is stocked in the bulk section of a
natural foods store.

Directions:

Step 1: Set up the dipping station with three wide flat
bowls. Place the corn starch and salt in first bowl and mix with a fork. Pour
the coconut milk in the second bowl. Toss together the panko and coconut in the
third bowl.

 

Step 2: Dredge the shrimp on both sides in the cornstarch.
Then dip them into coconut milk and then coat them in the panko/coconut mixture,
pressing lightly.

 

Step 3: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high.
Fry shrimp until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on a paper-towel
lined platter. Serve with dipping sauce.

 

Dipping Sauce:
Store bought sweet and sour sauce is perfect for this dish. If your kids would
like a more familiar flavor; try mixing equal parts ketchup and sweet and sour
sauce together.

 

Makes 4 servings.

For more check these out:

Grilled Salmon with Red Miso Sauce

Avocado and Tuna Wrap

Fruit Salsa and Tilapia

 

 

 

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