Saturday

Making Peel and Eat Shrimp

Easy Peel and Eat Shrimp If you've eaten peel-and-eat shrimp at the local buffet, you know what tasteless shrimp is like. Not only that, those poor crustaceans also have the consistency of rubber balls. The key to delicious, juicy, tender, homemade, peel-and-eat shrimp is in not overcooking them.

Pick Your Shrimp

You can now find de-veined raw shrimp in your grocery store. This is your best bet for an easy shrimp making experience. Check to make sure that they are loosely frozen to insure that they weren't partially thawed somewhere along the line.

What You Will Need to Prepare Great Peel and Eat Shrimp

Shrimp
Beer (enough to cover the shrimp to a depth of three inches, preferably dark beer)
Whole Peppercorns
Large bowl filled with crushed ice
Spider (or large slotted spoon)

After you've defrosted the shrimp, place the beer in a saucepan with a handful of peppercorns and bring to a boil.

Place the raw shrimp in the rapidly boiling beer, being careful not to crowd them. Turn them carefully, and remove them with the slotted spoon as soon as they turn pink. They cook fast, so be prepared.

Place the cooked shrimp in the bowl of crushed ice and pour enough ice over them to cover completely. Redistribute the shrimp to eliminate hot spots. Set them in the refrigerator to cool.

Special Note: These are the tricks to the shrimp-making process

The beer and peppercorns impart flavor and keep the shrimp moist. Submerging the shrimp in ice as soon as they're cooked stops the cooking process cold (no pun intended). Remember, overcooking is the enemy.

If you are planning on making more than a pound at a time, prepare your shrimp in smaller batches in order to guarantee that you remove them as soon as they're cooked.

Next time we'll talk about making Pico de Gallo.

Another Special Note: How to Peel Shrimp

Make a straight incision from the back of the head (the opposite of the tail if they're headless), down to the tail. Remove the outer shell and the intestine. Pinch off the tail. After a little practice, this goes pretty quickly. If you have lots to clean and peel, wear gloves. The liquid can cause a skin reaction with prolonged exposure.

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