Monday, 10 March 2008

Shrimp boiled in lemon juice (Γαρίδες βραστές με λεμόνι)

Frozen shrimp always has a nasty habit of leaving its scent on your hands, clothes, kitchen surfaces, and anything it touches. No matter how hard you try to buy from reputable establishments, it's always a risky venture. Fresh shrimp is not cheap, and the supermarket does offer a fair price for these delicacies. We usually eat shrimp with a salad and fried potatoes, so I prefer not to fry the shrimp as well. To avoid tainting your hands and clothes with the smell that frozen shrimp may leave behind, try boiling them in plain lemon juice mixed with water.

For a start, clean frozen shrimps while they are still partly frozen, as it is much easier to work with them (they are not so slippery or limp). Chop off the head and squeeze the flesh till the black vein is visible. Pull it out (it should come away easily) and discard it (the heads can be used for making stock). Squeeze a dozen lemons straight into a pot. Toss in the shrimp and let them cook till their flesh has gone from creamy transparent to pinky red (the colour change will be obvious). They only need about 10 minutes. Let them cool in the lemon juice.

When they are cold enough to handle, shell them, leaving the tail intact. They can now be dressed with olive oil, or used in any other way in a meal. Shelling them before serving with the tails attached helps eaters keep their hands and fingers clean while enjoying them.

This post is dedicated to Christine Senior, who told me never to boil shrimps in plain water.

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