A typical 3 oz. serving of shrimp has only 83 calories and 1 gram of fat, and has 18 grams of protein. Rich in vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium, iodine and selenium these tiny animals pack a nutritional punch. In addition to being healthful, shrimp are extremely versatile in the kitchen. Frozen shrimp are easy to store, easy to cook and have a delicate flavor that lends itself well to appetizers, soups, stews, stir-fried dishes and salads.
Defrosting and Cooking Frozen Shrimp
The proper way to defrost frozen shrimp is to put them in a colander, set the colander in a bowl of cold water, and soak for 10 minutes. Then remove and change the water. Soak for another 10 to 20 minutes, drain and pat dry with a paper towel. Shrimp cook very quickly, usually in 2 or 3 minutes, and if cooked too long they become tough.
Nothing is simpler or more traditional than serving a shrimp cocktail before dinner. Not the traditional type? Try a Mexican shrimp cocktail. Fill small serving bowls with a chunky homemade salsa and line the rim with jumbo shrimp. Short on time? It only takes minutes to whip up a Thai shrimp cocktail. Line a bread plate with a single cabbage leaf, place a dollop of bottled sweet chile sauce in the center and pile on the cocktail shrimp.
To many people, shrimp salad is a finger sandwich filling made with mayonnaise and served on white bread. That is one way to do it or you can add a few ingredients to turn frozen shrimp into a one-bowl feast. A sprinkling of fresh corn, cilantro and avocado gives frozen shrimp a certain south-of-the border flair. Adding feta cheese, artichoke hearts and black olives to chilled shrimp makes for a quick Greek-inspired meal.
Shrimp Soups and Stews
Shrimp has a starring role in many seafood soups and stews including seafood gumbo and seafood bisque. While these soups are thick and hearty, shrimp is also at home in lighter bowls. Adding shrimp to either spicy gazpacho or hot-and-sour soup gives these traditionally vegetarian dishes a low-fat protein punch. Likewise, frozen shrimp can be substituted for chicken in many soup and stew recipes to give them an earthy seafood twist.
Shrimp supports a variety of entrees spanning the culinary globe. There is savory shrimp scampi from Italy and colorful paella from Spain. Thai cuisine uses shrimp in everything from spring rolls to pad Thai, while Americans like to keep it simple with steamed spiced shrimp. Other shrimp dishes include shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, sweet and sour shrimp, shrimp etouffee and the southern favorite shrimp grits.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
- Fine Cooking: For the Freshest Tasting Shrimp; Elizabeth Karmel; 2011
- "The Ultimate Shrimp Book"; Bruce Weinstein; March 2002
- "Dancing Shrimp: Favorite Thai Recipes for Seafood"; Kasma Loha-unchit; October 2000
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