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Recipe of the Week - Shrimp 101

Posted by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 9:07 AM
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(From the Appetizer Collection at

Oven-roasted Shrimp

We made our quarterly trek to New Jersey last week to see family and friends.  The trip was great but a lot of driving as the side trips were a little more involved then usual.  We ate too much food, some at restaurants and most at my mother-in-law's house.  Traditionally we do Porterhouse steaks on the grill on our last night there, this time we did them on the next to last.  With family, friends and friends of family present we had a wonderful time and I got to go to my favorite grocery store, Wegman's, for the 2″ thick steaks.

I took along a carrot cake, some angel food cakes and those wonderful chocolate cookies/cakes that are used for ice cream sandwiches.  I also made, at my mother-in-law's request, the largest pot of hot fudge sauce I have ever made.  Appetizers consisted of blue cheese stuffed mushroom caps, tapenade on toast points and the shrimp; which brings me to the reason for this post.

First a quick primer on shrimp.  I get questions all the time about how to determine which shrimp to use and why. so here we go.  The number on the bag is the number per pound, 15 -21 means that you can expect to find 15 to 21 shrimp per pound.  31-36 means 31 or so to the pound.  So basically the less per pound, lower number, the larger the shrimp.  The second fact is wild caught verses everything else.  Don't worry about fresh verses frozen or frozen thawed as most of the shrimp is frozen as soon as it is caught to keep it fresh.  Unless you live on the coast and can buy your shrimp from the boat that caught them, and by all means do this if possible, buy the frozen.  If you can get the wild caught, this means they are not from a "shrimp farm" where they are raised on specific foods, usually in fresh water ponds;  spend the extra buck or two and see how good the wild caught really are.  A quick note on prawns, those huge 6 or so per pound giants in the seafood case, they are almost always farm raised and while impressive to see lack any real flavor.

Every time I make a shrimp dish using the wild caught I get tons of compliments on not only the taste but also on the texture.  Please don't overcook shrimp, they cook very quickly, which makes them the ideal easy appetizer.  With cocktail sauce or sautéed or baked get a little wild in your life and give these a try.

Oven-roasted Shrimp

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 6
Category: Appetizer
Meal: N/A
1 lb shrimp, deveined, shelled
2 Tb oil, olive
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste

Place the shrimp, olive oil, chopped garlic and salt and pepper in a large plastic bag. Shake the bag and let stand for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place contents of bag on a jellyroll pan (cookie sheet with a lip) and cook in oven for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

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by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 9:07 AM
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