After years of cooking with only pre-cooked shrimp, I have converted. No longer do I buy pre-cooked. Raw is the only way to go! Why? Because the flavor is so much better. The shrimp is juicier, more succulent… but the best part is that you always know when it’s done cooking because it turns pink! So many times have I overcooked the pre-cooked shrimp because I wasn’t sure if it was done “cooking”. It’s also cheaper to buy raw shrimp.
The first night I cooked with raw shrimp was just a couple weeks ago. I wanted to make something special for dinner and I was determined to try a recipe that involved raw shrimp since we had two bags that had been living in our freezer for a few months. I found one for “Spanish-Style Shrimp and Garlic” (actually, I found the same recipe in two cookbooks!) that looked simple, yet tasty, and I just happened to have fresh lemons, so I gave it a try (with some of my own additions, of course)! As the shrimp were finishing in the pan, my girlfriend came into the kitchen to “taste test” (which is actually moving around me as I cook and eating out of the pans since she’s hungry and everything smells delicious). She popped that first shrimp in her mouth and her eyes grew wide and she said “Oh my god! These are sooooo good!” She was right; they WERE good! We’ve been converts ever since. In fact, we’ve made that dish two other times since then.
So there’s a whole bunch of reasons why I prefer raw shrimp. Let me recap.
1. Better flavor
3. More succulent
4. Always lets you know when it’s done cooking (although it does take longer to prepare since you have to take off the shell)
5. Cheaper to buy
Those sound like some great reasons to me, don’t ya think? Now that I’ve given you my reasons WHY I love cooking with raw shrimp, here’s the recipe that converted me! Lucky dogs, you.
Spanish-Style Shrimp and Garlic
PointsPlus Per Serving: 5
- 1/2 lb raw shrimp, peeled (and de-veined if desired), 5 PP
- 1 tbsp olive oil, 4 PP
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 zucchini, sliced (optional)
- 4 oz dried linguine (optional; remember to figure out those points if being used)
1. Thaw, peel and de-vein shrimp (I didn’t de-vein them the first time and they tasted the same). Put in a bowl and set aside.
2. Put olive oil in pan over medium-high heat. Chop up garlic. Put garlic, cayenne and bay leaf into olive oil. Stir constantly for about 3 minutes (to keep the garlic from burning).
3. Put in shrimp and stir well. Cook until pink all over; about 4 minutes. Stir occasionally so all the shrimp get cooked evenly. At this point you can either serve it immediately or, if you are using the zucchini too, take shrimp out and set aside in a bowl. Cover.
4. Put sliced zucchini right into the same pan. Add 1 tsp olive oil and more cayenne if you prefer, but that’s optional too. Cook for a few minutes until done. Combine with shrimp. Now, if you are using the linguine too, then you’d want it already cooked at this point! Put the cooked linguine into the same pan! Add 1 tsp olive oil if you prefer and a little cayenne. Stir constantly for a couple minutes. NOW you can put the pasta in bowls and pour the shrimp/zucchini over top.
5. Once everything is plated, take your fresh lemon and squeeze some juice over the whole dish. Not too much, but not too little. VOILA! A classy, tasty dish.
Remember to count the points of the pasta if you use it. Each extra tsp of olive oil is 1 PP, but the zucchini adds NO PP to the recipe! WOOT WOOT! It also helps fill you up and tastes delicious with the shrimp.