Things To Know About Cooking Shrimp

Here are tips shared from All Recipes:

1. What to Buy: Fresh or Frozen?

You’ll save money and have more flexibility when you buy frozen shrimp in the shell and thaw them yourself when you’re ready. Most raw shrimp in the fresh fish section of your market have been previously frozen and thawed, and their shelf life is pretty short. Convenient if you’re cooking them immediately, but you’ll pay more per pound. And when you’re choosing frozen, shrimp in the shell always give you better flavor and texture than peeled and deveined.

2. Size Matters

Although shrimp come labeled as small, medium, large, extra-large, jumbo, and colossal, no one actually regulates those terms in shrimp world. Here’s a better way of knowing what you’re getting: Find the count numbers (such as 21/25) on the bag. It tells you the average number of shrimp in a one-pound bag. 21/25 means you’ll get 21 to 25 shrimp. The smaller the number, the larger the shrimp. Between 16 to 30 shrimp per pound is an ideal range for most recipes. For grilling, always go for larger shrimp (smaller count), such U/15. The “U” means there are under 15 shrimp per pound. Figure on buying about 1/2 pound of shrimp per person for a main-course serving.

3. How To Thaw

There are two ways to do it safely: 1) Slowly in the fridge for about 24 hours per pound. 2) Quickly in a colander in the sink under cold running water. Never at room temperature. Never in warm water.

4. How To Clean

Shrimp have a dark threadlike digestive tract (aka vein) running along their curved backs. You need to remove this after thawing and before cooking, otherwise you could get a bit of sandy grit in your meal. Here’s how to remove that vein without taking off the flavorful shell:

Use kitchen scissors to cut through the shell along the back of the shrimp, from the head to the tail, then use the scissors or a small knife to pull out the vein:

5. Savor the Shells

Cook in the shell whenever possible, especially when you grill. The shells add a lot of flavor to the meat, and they protect it from quickly overcooking. Besides, sitting around a table peeling and eating shrimp is a party right there. But if you do choose to peel the shrimp before cooking, save the shells and freeze them to make seafood stock for chowders and stews. Leave the shell on the tail to make a handle if you’re serving shrimp with a dip.

6. Marination: How Long is Too Long?

Depends on the marinade. If it’s acidic (lemon, lime, orange, etc.), 30 minutes or less should be fine. Any more than that and the acid will start to break down the delicate shrimp meat and make it mushy. If your marinade is non-acidic (olive oil, garlic, herbs) you could marinate for an hour or more. In either case, marinate in the fridge until you’re ready to get cooking.

7. Don’t Walk Away

Shrimp cook so quickly that you can’t turn your attention to anything else while they’re on the heat. It only takes a few minutes for even the largest shrimp to start turning pinkish and curling up into a C shape. And when that happens, they’re about done. If you’re grilling skewered shrimp, you’ll have to pay close attention to the color more than the curl. Keep a couple of test shrimp on a separate skewer to cut into.

(Reference: http://dish.allrecipes.com/smart-things-to-know-about-cooking-shrimp)


What brands of cookware should you own?

As you may know, everything is this world comes in different brands. Those brands play a large role in the quality of the product and its popularity. For example, a famous brand with better products is more popular than a brand which sells cheap and less efficient stuff. The same is for cookware. The more popular the brand will be, the better the product will be. So, the question arises, which one you should own? Well, there are many, and all of them are good in their own way as people have their preferences. So, we are going to discuss them according to the people’s budget. Note that these are all my opinions, so you can find better ones in your local area, as these are all American manufacturers.
So let’s firstly look at the best brand for people who have a limited budget. For them, T-fal (or Tefal) may be the best choice. They are a French company currently operating in the United States of America. Formed in 1956, this brand offers a large range of cooking appliances to provide you a cooking experience fit with affordable and low cost! The name is a portmanteau of two elements of which their products are made of, TEFlon and ALuminium.
The second one is for people who prefer a luxurious experience even while cooking. All-clad is best for you if you’re one of them. Although located in Pennsylvania, it is a company operating in the entire US. It is one of the greatest rated companies, both local and online, and is recommended by famous chefs worldwide. If it is that famous, then you can guess how much a simple spoon made by them will cost. It sells its equipment to many countries, including the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The company is also one of the first to introduce the concept of cladding, which means bonding metals to make the vessel, and with their name being the representation.
The third and last one is for people who prefer a mix of quality and quantity, that is, the quantity of money spent. Cook n Home is best for them. It was made for people who don’t fancy having extremely high quality cookware and are content with getting one which will just serve their needs. Their cooking resources are extremely good and are best if you have a strict budget in regards of cooking and kitchen stuff.

Source: http://cookwithtina.com


Bananas Caramalized

Ingredients

    • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    • 3 tablespoons Parkay® Original Spread-tub
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 2 slightly firm bananas, peeled, halved and sliced lengthwise
    • Reddi-wip® Original Dairy Whipped Topping

Directions

  1. Heat sugar, Parkay and cinnamon in medium skillet over medium-high heat; when bubbly, add bananas. Cook 1 minute on each side or until bananas are warm and glaze has thickened slightly, spooning glaze over bananas.
  2. Top each serving with Reddi-Wip. Serve immediately.
Cook’s Tips

For gluten free preparation, confirm all recipe ingredients are gluten free by reading product labels each time you make this recipe.


Chow and Buttermilk

Buttermilk rusks are kind of the opposite of Bunny Chow.

When I tried my first rusk, my first though was why? Imagine scones, without any additional flavorings like fruit or spice, baked until they are hard and crumbly. There’s not much flavor and they are very, very dry. Almost rock like. Do people really want to eat these? And then, for no apparent reason, I took another nibble. And another. The subtle sweetness kind of grew on me. A dunk into a cup of sweet tea, and the rusks soften and become oddly addictive. I’m not saying that they are going to replace doughnuts or anything, but they are kind of a neat snack to have around.

Bunny Chow
I love this combination of shrimp and chicken with a very spicy curry, but you can make bunny chow with any curry recipe you wish.


Adapted from 2010 Eat In Magazine, page 54

2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stick cinnamon
1 curry leaf
1 to 2 tablespoons red curry powder*
2 tablespoons curry paste**
2 chicken thighs, diced
8 prawns, peeled and cleaned
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 waxy potato (like Yukon Golds)
1 cup stock
1 loaf unsliced bread
cilantro, chutney and sambal for garnish

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onions when hot, and reduce heat to a simmer, slowly softening the onion. When the onion is translucent, increase the heat to medium high and add the garlic, cinnamon stick, curry leaf and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, and then add the curry powder and curry paste. The mixture will thicken. Add the chicken, and stir to coat. Add the prawns, tomatoes and potatoes and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the stock, and and loosen any stuck bits on the bottom of the pan, and taste for seasoning, adjusting as needed (salt, pepper, curry powder, cayenne pepper). Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. If the curry gets too thick, add a bit of water. Now is a good time to remove the cinnamon stick and curry leaf.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F.

Cut the loaf of bread in half, crosswise, and scoop out the middle of the bread to create a large bowl (keep the interior bread). Then fill each bowl with the curry, making sure to add plenty of the sauce. Top with the pulled out dough, and then wrap each “bowl” in parchment. Bake for about 10 minutes to warm and slightly toast the bread.

Serve with sides of freshly chopped cilantro, chutney and sambal, and eat using the bread to scoop up the curry.

* Ideally you’ll have either Durban curry powder or an equally delicious red curry paste. If not, you can use garam masala, but add either cayenne or red chile powder for flavor and heat.

** I used Shiba’s curry paste. If you want to make your own, this recipe looks tasty!

Makes 2 very filling bunnies.

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Banana caramalized