AUGUST 9, 2012–SPICY LEMON GARLIC SHRIMP
If a recipe involves shrimp, I generally love it. And this Pioneer Woman recipe treats shrimp the very best way–lemon and garlic. SPICY LEMON GARLIC SHRIMP (pg. 206)
Get out your Cuisinart or Food Processor. We are going to make a spicy butter for the shrimp.
Like most of Ree Drummond’s recipes, this starts with a pound of butter. You will also need 4 garlic cloves, a bunch of parsley, two lemons, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes.
Add all the ingredients to the Food Processor–I’m assuming that you know to peel the garlic and squeeze the lemon juice out of the lemons.
I had frozen raw shrimp in my freezer. Raw shrimp is rather gray/grey in color, but don’t worry. I have seen real, live shrimp while snorkeling in the ocean, and they look that way.
Shrimp don’t turn their pretty-in-pink color until they are cooked. Ever wondered why? This explanation has some big words, but is understandable.
|Lobster, crab, and shrimp are all crustaceans, which means they have an exoskeleton (or external skeleton) that appears as a hard shell or crust. In the sea, the shells of crustaceans display a variety of colors, but when crustaceans are uncooked, the green-blue hue of the protein complex of the outer shell predominates.|
|In lobsters, crab, and shrimp, however, a pigment called “astaxanthin” lies hidden, camouflaged by a protein covering. Astaxanthin is a member of the carotene family of pigments, which are responsible for coloring many of the yellow and orange (or “carotene”) fruits and vegetables.
Because these protein chains are not heat-stable, their protein wrapping uncoils as soon as crustaceans are put in boiling water. Voila! Red-orange astaxanthin molecules are released. Because pigments related to the carotenes are stable, the astaxanthins now display their unique deep hues that are so appealing.
Those who enjoy the delicacy of these gifts from the sea know their flavors are as appealing as their coloring. The dramatic color change adds one more facet to the fascination of learning about the foods we consume. (info from here)
Okay. I probably couldn’t repeat all that info, but I have a rough idea of why shrimp turn pink. It goes something like these. There are some packages of carrot dye hidden in non-heat resistant wrapping paper inside shrimp. The heat melts the wrapping paper and then the carrot dye shows its pretty orange-pink color. Because it is a dye the color stays. I don’t think that answer would get me a passing grade in Chemistry, but it is how my mind works.
BTW shrimp = 1. And shrimp = 2,000. There are not shrimps in the ocean, but shrimp.
Place all of your shrimp (not shrimps) on a cookie sheet and dot with the spicy-lemon-garlic-butter. Roast at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.
And now behold our astaxanthin-released shrimp. Or we could say our cooked shrimp.
This spicy-lemon-garlic shrimp can be served just as it is, or you can make a pasta meal with it.
COMMENTS: The shell was still on the shrimp I used, so the meal was a “finger foods” meal. We were in the middle of our Backyard VBS, so we had several extras for dinner. It was rather a messy meal, but delicious. If I wanted to serve this in a more formal setting, I would make sure I peeled and deveined the shrimp before sauteeing it.The following day, I made shrimp quesadillas with the left overs (A.k.a Quesadillas de Camarones.)