I love steamed shrimp and have been known to eat them so quickly that a pound could disappear from the bowl before someone could blink. When eating, the shell can be removed or, for the true shrimp enthusiast, eaten along with the meat for a crunchy spice filled addition.
When steaming shrimp the most important thing to remember is not to overcook them. The easiest way to do this is to half cook them over the heat, then let the pan sit still covered and cook the rest of the way off the stove. Just don’t peek to keep the steam in. Any combination of spices can be used but remember to strain and save the cooking the cooking liquid to dunk toasted crusts of bread in while eating the shrimp.
- 2-5 lbs shrimp deveined shell still on (16-20 count)
- 2 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
- 1 tsp dried dill or 2 tbsp fresh
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- 1 rib celery chopped into large chunks
- 1 jalapeno quartered
- 1/2 red onion chopped medium
- 1/2 bottle white wine
- 2 cups shrimp or vegetable stock
- 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Toss raw shrimp in olive oil and squeeze juice of half a lemon over. Add Old Bay, oregano, dill, salt and pepper and marinate in bowl for 30 minutes. In a large stock pot, melt two tablespoons butter and fry onion, celery and jalapeno over medium heat until softened. Add wine, juice of half lemon, both lemon halves and stock and bring to a boil. Simmer broth until reduced by one fourth then add shrimp and stir well. Cover pan and steam for 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let sit covered until shrimp is pink and begins to curl, about 15 minutes more. Strain broth into a bowl and sift cooked shrimp out of leftover vegetable matter. In strainer, press remaining liquid from vegetables over shrimp, and stir in parsley. Serve immediately with toasted bread as a side.
About the bread: The restaurants we went to in New Orleans only had one portion size, huge, and the good ones liked to feed you bread, not just a little roll or basket, but a decent-sized loaf. A friend who was in NOLA the same weekend and also dined at Commander’s Palace said there was a debate at his table about whether to take the bread home. No such debate at ours. Two waiters tried to take it off our hands, but we carried our untouched second loaf home, toasted the day-old bread with butter and some ZestyBeanDog Fine Herb Blend (Thanks Jen!) and ate it with our shrimp.