Thanksgiving turkey and dressing leftovers are great, but after a few days something completely different like pizza or … say, shrimp … becomes very appealing. Shrimp is one of my favorite foods, and today’s post celebrates this popular crustacean with photos of dishes I enjoy cooking for my friends and family!
There are so many creative ways you can prepare shrimp – boil it, bake it, fry it, sauté it, salad it, chowder it, grill it, and the list goes on. I’d say my personal favorite and seemingly most successful such dish is shrimp and grits, which I make the most often.
Shrimp and Grits
Think stone-ground yellow grits cooked with minced garlic, heavy whipping cream and fresh thyme that’s then topped with large, shelled shrimp simmering on the stovetop in a big pan with shallots, white wine, chopped tomatoes, fresh lemon juice and zest, and a lot of butter – finally, all garnished in individual serving bowls with a couple of reserved, boiled shrimp in the shell (or sometimes chopped green onions and crumbled crispy bacon).
Here are some pictures of this mouth-watering combination of ingredients (be sure to serve warm and crusty, homemade bread on the side!):
Sheet Pan Shrimp with Chorizo Sausage and Corn
Next up on the shrimp itinerary is a cooking approach I’ve been using more and more lately, and not just for shrimp. It’s called sheet pan cooking, and you place meat, vegetables, and whatever you’d like on parchment paper laid on a large sheet pan and then roast it at a high temperature in the oven.
It’s an easy clean-up since everything’s cooked in one pan, and the melded flavors of roasting items together this way are delicious! Here’s my recent shrimp (with chorizo sausage and corn) version of sheet pan cooking:
Another shrimp dish I enjoy making is a shrimp casserole with tomatoes. Starting with diced onions, garlic, and scallions sautéed in olive oil, and then adding oregano, basil, and paprika followed by chopped fresh tomatoes and lemon juice, the shrimp are added briefly until they turn pink – and then the mixture is placed into a casserole dish and baked in the oven.
You’ll see I had fun arranging a “shrimp centerpiece” on top with six I boiled in Old Bay Seasoning and held off to the side until just before serving!:
Brazilian Moqueca Fish Stew
The last shrimp item for today’s non-turkey feature is moqueca, a Brazilian fish stew. While shrimp are an optional addition, for me they always go in the pot for this recipe! Any firm, white fish will do, and you cover it with minced, raw garlic and freshly squeezed lime juice. It sits in the refrigerator while you’re working on the rest of the items, including green onions, chopped tomatoes, paprika, red pepper flakes, and lime juice and zest.
My favorite part of making the moqueca is the assembly, which starts with a bed of half the warm vegetable mixture, covered with a layer of the fish and shrimp, and then covered over by the rest of the vegetable mixture. Finally, coconut milk is poured over everything, and when the simmering starts, your knees may buckle at the glorious aroma! Serve it over rice, and garnish with cilantro:
That should be enough shrimp (tantalizing) for one post! What’s your favorite way to cook shrimp? What’s your signature artisan dish? Please comment below!