Saturday, July 28, 2012
Now I must say, I never made Pickled Shrimp before, I never even tasted Pickled Shrimp before, but from what I read, they are one of those quintessential southern dishes, a popular summer appetizer, and they involved very little cooking, so they seemed a win, win.
And I was curious.
As I tend to do, I searched the Internet, reading recipe after recipe, taking something from Martha Stewart, something from Saveur, something from Southern Living and something from Sam Hoffer at My Carolina Kitchen.
You clean and cook the shrimp, this time in some Old Bay seasoning, and then, as Ms. Hoffer suggests, add the hot shrimp to the rest of the ingredients, to encourage them to absorb the flavorful liquid. Layer them in a container, cover and refrigerate overnight or up to several days, because they will just get more pickled and more tasty.
I did add one step...don't I always?
I heated the oil and added the spices to it and cooked them for a minute to two before adding the rest of the ingredients, to let them bloom, something many spices benefit from.
2 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. fennel seed
1/2 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbs. peppercorns, cracked
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
2-4 dried bay leaves
1/3 cup capers, with the liquid
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 lemons, thinly sliced
In a pot, heat the oil and then add the celery seed, fennel seed, coriander seed, red pepper flakes, peppercorns and garlic and cook for just a minute.
Take off the heat and add the sugar, salt, bay leaves, onion and sliced lemons and the lemon juice, capers and vinegar and stir well.
While that is sitting, prepare the shrimp.
Add the Old Bay to about 8 cups of boiling water, and then add the shrimp, cooking a couple of minutes, depending on size, until just done, pink and curled.
Add the hot shrimp to the spice/lemon/onion mixture and spoon into a container. A jar with a tight lid is good because you can turn it over to spread the goodness around evenly while they are pickling in the frig, where they should remain at least overnight before eating.
I think this is one of those recipes you can play around with, taking some of the ingredients and measurements as just a suggestion. I will tell you every recipe I say is different in some way. If you like them hot, add some little dried peppers or if you don't like things hot, leave out the peppers altogether.
I love capers, but if you don't, don't add them. A number of fresh herbs would be nice in there if you happen to have some on hand. You could add a couple of coins of fresh ginger or some dried mustard or some Worcestershire.
I think the lemons, the onions, the oil and vinegar, the salt are required and then go from there.
I understand these are traditionally served as appetizer, just picked up with a toothpick or served on a cracker, and that would be excellent. But I can see other uses for them. They would be lovely on a salad, wouldn't they, or made into a shrimp sandwich or a little taco? Or how about in some pasta salad? Yum!
Use your imagination!
Zip up your shrimp!
This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
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Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.