The coastal waters of our region are serving up some delicious shrimp this season. Regardless of whether you purchase shrimp– at the wharf, grocer, or a restaurant–don't settle for anything less than Wild American Shrimp. More nutritious, tastier, and by far fresher than imported varieties, buying shrimp (or any fish and seafood) from local waters helps support the hundreds of coastal communities and generational fishing families that have withstood environmental catastrophes, disastrous weather conditions, and years of foreign competition.
As we were reminded in the movie Forrest Gump, there is almost no end to the ways we can prepare these tasty jewels of the sea. Grilled, boiled, or fried, there is a shrimp recipe to fit your appetite. Here are 7 ways to prepare the South’s favorite shellfish.
1. Boil It
Whether you call it a low country boil or Frogmore Stew, the tempting odor of this one-pot meal will transport you back to the shoreline. Light the citronella candles and line a picnic table with newspaper; there is no need for plates and flatware when you simply scoop the contents of your boil out onto the table for everyone to enjoy. Just remember to supply lots of napkins.
2. Fry It
It is true that, here in the South, we get a little carried away with frying just about everything. But no one can fault us for relishing the delicacy known as fried shrimp, the sweet and juicy shellfish hiding under a crispy hot, seasoned crust. Keep ‘em coming! This Cajun-flavored fried shrimp has been a reader favorite for years.
3. BBQ It
These tasty crustaceans aren’t actually laying out on the grill, but they are simmering in a flavorful BBQ sauce which can be made ahead. Plus, the leftover sauce in the pan makes a fabulous dipping sauce for your bread.
4. Spike It
Shrimp plays well with fresh vegetables when you thread them side by side on skewers. Flavorful shrimp kabobs bring a coastal flavor to any outdoor party or quick weeknight supper.
5. Go Creole
Shrimp is a popular ingredient in two traditional Creole dishes, gumbo and jambalaya. Cooks will argue for days over which ingredient combination is best for their signature dish, but one thing is certain: gumbos and jambalayas, both loaded with meats, seafood, and fresh vegetables, were created as a way to use the ingredients on hand in a most delicious manner.
6. Enjoy it for Lunch
Oftentimes the inaugural seafood meal for a traveler’s first beach trip, the origins of the shrimp po’boy can be traced back to the railroad riots of 1929 and the Martin Brothers' Coffee Stand and Restaurant in the French Market.
7. Serve it for Breakfast
The earliest recipes for shrimp and grits call for using hominy, another form of corn. A beloved breakfast dish but also popular for brunch or dinner, shrimp and grits is a delicious showcase for two of the South’s classic culinary ingredients.
What is your favorite way to enjoy shrimp?