Finally, my last round of photos from our Hamptons trip. I figured that I’d space them out a bit so that you didn’t get completely tired of seeing us have so much fun. Summer’s almost over though (technically), so it’s time to reminisce. Where did everyone go this summer? What new foods did you eat? Food memories are the strongest, you know! We had a blast swimming, eating, and drinking our way through summer, and while I’m sad to watch it fade into the distance, I’m excited for fall. I’m ready to bake, be it desserts or casseroles or whatever else. I just want to be able to turn my oven on for six hours while Kramer and I marathon a TV show. Is that so much to ask? Is it? Anyway, we plan to pack as much into this upcoming holiday weekend as possible, from what I imagine will be an incredible meal tonight at Traif to a BBQ or two at a friend’s place (I still can’t have a grill…and Jesus wept). First, though, let me tell you a little something about peel ‘n’ eat shrimp.
Our friends Valerie and Tom took us to this amazing crab shack near their apartment in Long Island City this past summer, and Kramer and I fell in love. They do big, Maryland style platters of crab, covered in delicious Old Bay spices. You crack ‘em open yourself, so along with tasty food, there is also a challenge at hand, which I accept wholeheartedly. They also do really good, fairly spicy peel ‘n’ eat shrimp, which I had never had before. Obviously, I’ve eaten tons of shrimp (tons, I say), but I’ve never peeled them myself at dinner. It’s fun! I promise. The shells come off super easily, and then you can enjoy the fruits of your labor by dipping them in yet another spicy sauce and chowing down. I could eat this entire platter myself, then mop up the rest of the sauce with some crusty bread. There’s nothing better than that. So, in the spirit of the Waterfront Crab Shack, I present to you my own peel ‘n’ eat shrimp. Don’t be afraid of the process – all you have to do is rinse them off, pull out the vein (which is much, much easier than it sounds), and stir fry with whatever spices you like. Kramer and I sat down to an episodes of Sons of Anarchy with a big plate of this shrimp and some veggies, and by the end, we were completely stuffed. I feel like you get more full when you have to work for your meal, which isn’t such a bad thing when you’ve got to squeeze into a bathing suit one last time this weekend. If you’re having a cook-out or barbecue some time soon, I highly recommend adding these little guys to the menu.
- 1 lb. shell on shrimp (de-veined if possible, otherwise you’re gonna have to do it yourself!)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne peper
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dill weed
- 2 bay leaves
- lemon wedges, for serving
- First, you may need to remove the vein from your shrimp if they still have them. Hold the shrimp straight, and use a toothpick to get under the first scale or shell of the back of the shrimp. Basically, you are looking for the poop trail (get over it). Pull it out with the toothpick. It is delicate, but will slide right out. Rinse the shrimp and pat it dry, then place in a large bowl.
- Sprinkle your seasonings over the shrimp and let sit in the fridge for 15 minutes or so. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a wok or large pan, and cook the shell-on shrimp over medium-high heat for 8 minutes or so, until pink and cooked through. Serve with a wedge of lemon and/or some melted butter.