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Aug 30, 2009 08:19 PM

In search of new shrimp ideas

I eat a lot of frozen shrimp as it’s cheap, as fresh as any seafood will be on Sunday and helps me meet my quotient for environmental destruction. I feel like I’ve exhausted what I can do with it, though, and am really digging for new ideas. If you see something I should try that I haven’t, please give me a shake. If you see something I should like that for some reason I don’t, and you suspect I’m doing it wrong, please let me know. I tend to prefer savory to sweet, and typically cook shrimp really hot on the range to ensure that they stay moist and tender. I'm looking for more main dishes than appetizers, etc.

Preparations I’ve tried that I liked:
With cumin, coriander, and broccoli per the NYT (my favorite, and a good example of a non-classic preparation that I’m looking for).

Preparations I wouldn’t kick out of bed:
Scampi (the texture always seems thin and the flavor kind of one dimensional).
Fra diavolo style (I’m embarrassed to admit this is from De Laurentis).
Grilled with rosemary (again, kind of one dimensional).

Preparations that I’ve tried that I thought I’d like but didn’t:
Quick fried/Spanish tapas style with paprika, garlic, etc (the flavor of the shrimp and seasonings were really discordant – I’m using Penzey’s spices, perhaps it’s just their variant of seasoning?).
Chipotle (same problem as above).
In tacos/quesadillas/as a generic protein in Mexican food (same problem as above).
Cioppino, bouillabaisse, etc (sure, why not).

Etoufee, jambalaya, paella, and the other mixed dishes (every version I’ve had seems too sweet, I guess I just don’t like the dish).
Mayonnaise based salad (whenever I use Best Food’s/Hellmans or make my own mayonnaise, it seems too tangy – a problem I rarely have in restaurants).
Tequila lime (every version I’ve had seems too sweet).
In Tom Yum (I like this in restaurants but can’t source the ingredients do it proper at home – not really a shrimp problem, I guess).
Cocktail (I’m pretty confident that I don’t like it).
Vietnamese salad rolls (I don’t really like rice noodles in salad rolls, and the flavor profile seems off balance without them).

Tempura and other deep fried options are conspicuously absent from the list, because I have poor ventilation and whenever I deep fry it smells like oil in the house for a few days.

I've always had rough luck with bacon and shrimp. One always ends up overcooked or undercooked.

Anyways, what else do I do with these unsustainable seabugs?

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  1. One of my favorite quick simple things to do at home that always has guest talking is sweet chile shrimp skewers, simply marinate in mae ploy sweet chile sauce for an hour and you can either BBQ them or bake in the oven 10 minutes. I like to throw a little pesto in the mix as well, although from some of your dislike you may not like the sweet chile sauce.
    Another favorite for entree and it is so quick is a Shrimp and Orzo Carbanara
    Render bacon, lightly saute the shrimp while the orzo pasta is boiling, add the drained pasta, some peas take off the heat and mix in a couple raw eggs (dont let them scrammble, they will cook with the heat making a creamy sauce) then toss in some some parmesan cheese maybe fresh herbs such as Italian parsley and basil.

    If you have problems with overcooking the shrimp another thing I like to do is instead of sauteing the shrimp from raw, lighty poach them in water seasoned with 2 parts sugar and on part salt to taste for five minutes then add at the end.

    Hope this helps!

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. WOW!!! You are a picky one aren't you??!

        I love the line, tho, about being environmentally destructive, that's where you've caught me, hook, line & sinker!!! I'll be you're best friend just b/cof that line!!!!

        Anywho, try Mark Bittman's bbq shrimp - too tired to type it out online now, but it has literally, including the shrimp, 5 ingredients. (Plus i cut the tip of my right indexfinger tonight so typing is a real bitch!!) But can post ift for you if you're interested.

        Also, did you ever consider that your supplier is no good??? I mean, who can pass up scampi & fra diavolo and consider it "sweet"? Never even heard that adjective used in the same sentence as "shrimp scampi or fra diavolo". But, I did grow up on Italian food, so maybe I'm biased. I hate deep frying in my house also, for the same reasons, not poor ventilation, but then again, if my house stinks for 2 days, maybe IT IS!!!!!

        And who doesn't love bacon wrappped shrimp? Even my husband, who is not a shrimp eater, will devour it if it's wrapped in bacon! I mean, c'mon, It"s BACON!!! And try it with jalapeno, it's a Texas snake bite! Awesome food , here!

        I also have a KILLER recipe for a deconstructed baked stuffed shrimp with copious amounts of butter, garlic, Ritz crackers that is awesome, and you can skip the sherry if you don't want any SWEET with it. Let me know. Other wise, I got nothing and GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!!!!

        1. BBQ Shrimp Cocktail with Basil-Mango Sauce.

          Dust shrimp with a Cajun/Creole spice blend and saute with some olive oil until just cooked. Peel & pit a mango and put the fruit in a blender with about 8 julianned fresh basil leaves, and puree until smooth. Ladle sauce into a margarita glass and hook shrimp around the rim. Dip BBQ shrimp in the chilled sauce

          1. If you are curious about my poblano soup with sweet corn and sweet shrimp I could pony up the recipe.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Veggo

              *I* am interested in that. Does that count???

              1. re: Veggo

                Make that another vote for interest in that recipe! I have four pablano plants busting at the seams!

                1. re: Veggo

                  cream of poblano soup with sweet corn and sweet shrimp

                  6 poblano peppers
                  6 ears sweet corn
                  1 lb. Florida pink shrimp, shell on
                  24 oz. container chicken stock
                  1 pint half and half

                  roast poblanos, bag, sweat, peel, de-seed and de-stem, puree
                  cut corn kernels from cob, sautee in vegetable or grapeseed oil until lightly carmelized
                  boil shrimp in shells 1 minute. peel, save shells, slice lengthwise, clean as necessary
                  add shells to chicken stock, bring to boil, strain out shells
                  combine fortified chicken stock, shrimp halves, corn, half and half, 2/3 of poblano puree. warm and taste for pepper heat (poblanos vary a lot). Add remainder of puree if taste is not too hot. The minty green color, and the pink shrimp and corn make an attractive presentation (and tasty). Garnish with a few cilantro leaves.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    I'm going to try that fo sho. I've been seeing key west pinks lately so it's a timely recipe for me.