Gut Rumbles

February 02, 2008

Cooking seafood

Originally published December 18, 2003

I made a shrimp and cheese omelet for breakfast this morning, with a couple of pieces of bacon thrown in for color and taste. If you've never had one of those, you should try it sometime. That is one delicious omelet.

Shrimp is one of the most popular seafoods in the world and I constantly am amazed by the number of people who don't know how to cook shrimp. Shrimp may be the cockroaches of the ocean, but they are VERY GOOD to eat when they are prepared properly. I like them any way you can imagine serving them, but they need to be cooked correctly to taste right.

Most people over-cook shrimp. Shrimp turn tough and rubbery when you do that. When I boil shrimp, I put a pot of water on the stove, dose it with every seasoning in my spice cabinet, and bring the water to a boil. Then, I cut the heat off and dump the shrimp in the hot water. When the shrimp turn pink (which takes about two minutes) they are ready to eat. They'll absorb all of that seasoning very quickly.

When I fry them, I peel and bread a batch, then toss them in hot grease for about one minute. As soon as the breading starts to turn golden, the shrimp are done. Scoop 'em out of the pot and eat them with some cole slaw and corn on the cob.

When I sautee shrimp for a stir-fry or anything else I cook in my wok, the shrimp are the last ingredient to enter the mix. Have everything else ready when you toss the peeled and de-veined shrimp into a hot wok with some olive oil, garlic and real butter. Add a dollup of wine and shake and stir for about 90 seconds. The shrimp are done.

Cook them any longer, and you'll fuck them up.

Crab is a different story. I cook the Jawja Blue Crabs I catch for at least 15 minutes before I'll eat one. I know what kind of bait I caught those bastards on, and it was pretty disgusting. If shrimp are the cockroaches of the sea, crabs are the buzzards. They are nasty critters, but they taste good.

How many of my readers know how to pick a Jawja Blue Crab? Have you ever done it? It ain't easy.

Step #1: Once you've cooked the crab, peel his back shell off with your bare hands. Rake off all the gills and that orange shit that is called "crab-fat" by some people I know.

Step#2: Break the crab in half, sideways. Then, dig that lucious meat out of all the hideaways a crab stores it in. Tear the hind legs off correctly, and you end up with a big chunk of meat. Pull off the side-legs and you end up with more meat. Rip the body into quarters after that, and you have MORE meat.

Break off the claws and store them for later research. Claw meat is different from belly-meat on a crab.

Step#3: Collect about two pounds of that white belly-meat and make a crab stew. Invite some friends over to sample what you've done. You'll have a difficult time getting them to go home that night if you serve some beer with the meal.

I love seafood. Where I live, I can catch my own or buy it fresh off a boat. I've never eaten better seafood than I find right where I am. It's the good stuff, and if you live here, you learn to cook it right.

Fuck a Red Lobster.

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