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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Recipe: Oven Roasted Shrimp & Sauce

This is the best way to cook shrimp.  There I said it.  Once I made them this way, I have never gone back to any other way.  So easy and super yum.  

I usually have frozen shrimp in the freezer.  It makes for a quick, lat minute grab for dinner or impromptu hors d'oeuvres.  There is no long thaw..  In a colander under cold running water, they thaw out in minutes and are ready to use. 

A lot of people think that shrimp is an expensive dinner option.  Well, with my the 2 of us.. it cost approximately $3 at most for more shrimp than we will eat in one dinner and have a few for leftover lunch.  And my 3 year old loves them this way, too.   If we are in the grocery store and I ask her what she wants for dinner.. she will usually say "Shrimp!"

Cooks note: 
When buying...  
(Frozen) I look for large or jumbo uncooked shrimp that are cleaned but still have their shell on. 
("Fresh") or in the fishmonger/grocery case .. just means they have thawed the frozen ones for you.  If you ask, they will tell you it is the same as the ones you buy in the bag frozen.  So, if you don't have time to thaw.. you pay a little more and can buy from the case.    
Cooking shrimp with their shell on, gives them such a better flavor when they cook and is easy to remove when they are done.     

Roasted Shrimp

Place thawed shrimp on a baking sheet covered with foil.  

1-3 T. olive oil
1-2 cloves of chopped garlic
 sprinkle of sea salt
 fresh cracked pepper
rosemary (optional)

Toss together til coated.  Arrange in a single layer.

Preheat oven to 450º    Roast for 2 minutes and give a stir..  and then finish cooking. About 2-3 minutes more at most.  Shrimp will be opaque and not translucent when cooked thru.  DO NOT overcook.  This is where most people, restaurants.. go wrong.  Shrimp dry out and get tough when overcooked.  Watch them, don't depend on a timer or exact minutes suggested.. this is the only way to cook them perfectly.  

Serve warm or cold.. however you prefer.  
For dinner, we usually eat them warm but for a party.. I like to serve them chilled with cocktail sauce.  The flavor is magnificent.. and so much better than bland shrimp cocktail.  And an easy make-ahead item.  Scarlett prefers them with just ketchup.   

Cocktail Sauce

1 cup of organic ketchup (we love Trader Joe's)
juice of 1/2 lemon or whole lime
prepared horseradish (to taste)
dash of Worchestershire sauce
dash of tabasco

Combine together in a bowl.  
easy peasy.  
Serve cold with shrimp or with crab or fish cakes.

Health benefits to shrimp...  

We have learned so much more about shrimp lately.   Shrimp are loaded with Omega-3: omega-6 fats.  Which we have all learned at this point.. are good fats and actually reduce risk of heart disease, diabetes, cardiovascular.. and more, including depression.  

They also are a good source of Selenium.. and selenium found in shrimp is highly absorbed by the human body.  One of the most crucial antioxidants we need for good health.   

And this was a new learning for me... Shrimp also have something called Astaxanthin.  This is something that is valued for being anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  Release of inflammatory messaging molecules is suppressed by Astaxanthin, as is oxidation of fats in immune cells.  Reducing colon cancer, diabetes, tumors.. the list goes on.  

I am not a doctor or researcher.. this is just what I have learned and how we eat.  Definitely shrimp is something we incorporate regularly in our diet.  We all have to figure out what is right for ourselves.  Here is a chart that helps show the nutrients best.   

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