The secret isn’t in the spices or the cooking method, but in brining the shrimp. I’ve brined poultry and pork for years, but I had never thought about brining something as small as shrimp. Who knew that returning these crustaceans to saltwater would make such a huge difference?
1 quart water
1/3 cup kosher or sea salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
— Shrimp –
1½ pounds uncooked large or jumbo shrimp, unpeeled. 26-30 CT/LB or larger.
½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning (optional) (please use for best results)
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) (please use for best results)
Remove the shells if you must, but they will be so much better if you leave them on. Either way, they usually need to be deveined. With the shell on, snip with scissors down the center of the back and remove the vein. I recommend snipping to the tail, making them much easier to peel when eating.
Stir the brine ingredients in a bowl until the sugar and salt dissolve. Add shrimp. Refrigerate up to 3 hours if using fresh shrimp. If you use previously frozen shrimp marinate no longer than 1-½ hours. Previously frozen shrimp have a tendency to dry out. Use shorter soaking time for smaller shrimp. Drain and rinse well in a colander. Pat very dry and sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning and cayenne pepper.
I like to put them on skewers unless the shrimp are very large because it makes turning them so quick and easy. Grill on a lightly oiled rack just until pink, about 3 minutes per side. We like them just as well placed under the broiler for 3 minutes, a flip, and then 2 minutes more for the other side. Better still, use a broiler pan where the shrimp can be stood slit side up and no turning required. Cook until shell is toasty looking and no
opacity on the underside of the shrimp, 4-5 minutes. Serve with warm Kelchner’s Cocktail Sauce mixed with melted butter.
http://www.associatedcontent.com with Shrimp Connection personal experiences adapted.