Shrimping in the Sound

I think I should preface this post with…this has nothing to do with business or with the law.  

I don’t know what YOU did this last weekend, but Colin and I woke up at 3am on Saturday morning to climb aboard Capt. Jack’s boat and go shrimping.  When you hear “shrimping” you may think of this:

 

Forrest Gump

 

That’s not exactly what we were after or what we were doing.  We were catching Spot Prawns.  Which are sweet, delicious morsels.  We were not about to make that into a gumbo.  It would be a total waste.  You might think that it is crazy that we woke up at 3am, or that you misread.  You did not misread.  And it is a bit crazy.  But we’re not the only ones who are crazy (see: West Seattle Blog).  In fact, when we reached the boat launch at 4am, there was a line.

Shrimp season lasts for one day out of the year.  There’s camaraderie out there on the water amongst the amateur shrimpers.     If you’ve never had freshly caught shrimp – it’s so good.  We caught our limits, so now…it’s time to let the “games” begin!  And by “games,” I mean, recipes.

Colin with shrimp

Colin with shrimp

 

So far, we’ve prepared the shrimp 2 ways: In a boil (not a traditional Louisiana-style boil, but based off of that) and sauteed, shell-on, with butter, white wine, garlic, and a little mustard.  The third way that they will be prepared is in a ceviche with some avocado, mango, roasted corn and lime juice.   I’ve posted the recipe for the boil below.  I recommend it.

Things we learned:

  1. If the Spot Prawn dies, then it starts releasing an enzyme that slowly destroys the meat.  So, if you’re not going to eat them right away or somehow keep them alive, then you should pull the heads off right away.
  2. They should be cooked for a very short amount of time, ideally.
  3. Shrimp are attracted very strong-smelling food.
  4. Shreya gets seasick sometimes.

Now, for the recipe.

This is for heads-off, shell on Spot Prawns.

Things you need:
Boil pot and burner.

We used 80 prawns but cook time shouldn’t change with more/fewer prawns

Artichokes (artichokes are spiny bastards that will stick you)

1 small box of mushrooms

1/3 Box of Kosher salt, 3 bay leaves, fresh thyme, a couple heaping tablespoons of red pepper flakes if you like a little spice

3-4 small lemons, halved

2 shallots

2 bulbs of garlic, remove extra garlic skins but leave the bulb intact.

3-4 ears of corn

A half bottle of a cheap, but drinkable white wine (because you probably want to be able to drink the other half…)

Melted, salted butter for dipping

Fresh baguette

A light, fruity beer like a saison for drinking

 

IMG_0863

 

Prepare the artichokes: pull off the outer little leaves, rinse it thoroughly, and snip off the tips of the artichoke leaves – spiny, thorny bastards be gone!  Cut of the top and the stem.

Fill the boil pot about 2/3 full with water, pour in the white wine, and add the seasonings.  Drink a beer, gather around the pot, and stare at it until it boils.  Wander away at will to eat snacks.  Play fun and festive music.

Also, get a large, wooden spoon or stirring stick ready.  You may want to occasionally stir the pot and make sure your “stuff” is properly submerged.

Now, in the cage, put your corn, lemons, shallots, and garlic.  Lower the cage into the boiling pot and start your timer – 5 minutes.

Add in your artichokes and mushrooms as soon as the 5 mins are up.  Set the timer for 10 minutes.

Pour your thoroughly rinsed and beheaded prawns into the pot as soon as the 10 mins are up.   Set the timer for 45 seconds.

Pull the cage out carefully (it’s hot!).  Turn off the fire, valves, etc.  Pour the contents of the cage out onto some clean butcher paper or some other paper tablecloth thing (see above).  Set out the baguette, melted butter, a full roll of paper towels, a bowl for shells, and re-up on beers.  (Optional: squeeze out some soft, melt-in-your-mouth garlic into the melted butter for a pro move)

FullSizeRender

 

Now, dig in!

 

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