I had a scarring shrimp incident last fall. I'll spare you the nitty gritty, but let's just say that there was an argument, I folded, and the shrimp were not deveined, much to my chagrin. I was not spared the nitty gritty, and neither were my dinner companions. And I was the one who cooked the shrimp. It was terrible.
So word to the wise, unless you want to have that lovely sandy sensation between your teeth, please devein your shrimp. Sandy vein = shrimp's digestive tract. Not particularly appetizing. So make yourself comfy at your sink, and peel off the shell while leaving the tail on. Then, using a sharp paring knife, slice lengthwise along the back of the shrimp about a centimeter deep in order to expose the dark vein. Once exposed, the vein is easily lifted out with the tip of your knife. Give the shrimp a nice rinse and move along to the next one. It's not rocket science, it's necessary, and fairly quick.
I love shrimp, but sometimes I forget about them. I cook a lot of fish, eggs, beans, quinoa etc... But somehow I tend to lose track of the shrimp. Like the aforementioned foods that don't get left out, shrimp are an awesome source of protein, and one of the fastest cooking at that. And with a quick spice rub they pack a punch of flavor in only a number of minutes, no measuring required!
They're perfect for taco night, tasty on pasta, and a make a great combo with polenta and arugula fennel salad with a citrus vinaigrette, which is how I served them last night.
(SOMEWHAT) SPICY SAUTÉED SHRIMP
- raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left intact (about 5-10 small shrimp per person)
- extra virgin olive oil
- ground cumin
- chili powder
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- freshly chopped parsley
Add your shrimp to a bowl and toss with olive oil. Sprinkle somewhat liberally with all of your spices. Toss to coat.
Heat a pan (stainless steel or cast iron) over medium-high with a splash of olive oil. Once hot, add your shrimp and distribute them evenly in a single layer. Cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side before flipping them over for 2-3 additional minutes. The shrimp are done when they are white throughout.
Garnish with a toss of parsley, and serve hot!