I grew up on the coast and I have many fond memories of seafood. My grandfather, Papa, would go to the beach several times a week and come home with loads of fish. One night I devoured eight whiting filets. I was off fish for about a month after that, but they were delicious at the time.
On of my favorite memories is of my dad trying to cook frozen shrimp. Mom worked the night shift at the hospital leaving dad our cook for evening meals. We had a lot of frozen pot pies and fish sticks. I still love a good pot pie. Anyway, one night he made us shrimp. My brother and I were sitting at the table and watched as dad stood two or three feet from the stove and tossed the shrimp into a pan of hot oil. The oil hissed and popped and dad took a couple more steps back. I don’t remember how dinner tasted that night, but I remembered laughing and being happy.
It’s probably that memory that has kept me from doing much with shrimp myself. I’ve heated up the toaster oven and baked some frozen fried shrimp, but I’ve never purchased fresh shrimp and tried to cook them in the skillet, which is a shame considering I still live on the coast. A few weeks ago, Publix had a sale on shrimp and I was looking for something different for dinner, so I picked up half a pound. I didn’t realize I’d chosen peel and eat shrimp instead of the ones already peeled until I got home and it took me about a minute to peel each one. After fifteen minutes I decided I had enough for dinner and I could finish the rest later.
I poured some garlic infused olive oil into my pan and allowed it to warm up, then added my shrimp. Fortunately, I didn’t have any overheated oil popping up at me. I already had some lemon flavored pasta boiling and a simple lemon butter sauce simmering, so when the shrimp were a nice golden color and I didn’t think I’d die from them being undercooked, I made myself a plate. I was quite pleased with my first attempt with fresh shrimp. I think they may have even been better than the shrimp I had on my recent cruise, although the cruise line presentation may have been prettier. Now I’m looking for my next cooking adventure. Do you have any suggestions?