One of the nice things about belonging to a Community Supported Fishery (CSF) is getting exposed to things you would never try on your own. I’ve never been a big shrimp person, but when I got the message that shrimp season was beginning I decided to take the plunge. These are Gulf of Maine shrimp, not their larger cousins that you usually see in the supermarket. The ones the supermarket are not usually from around here. Apparently, the Maine ones haven’t been widely available, but as the numbers have rebounded the season which starts Dec 1 has been getting longer.
The first thing I noticed is that these shrimp are red when uncooked, not grey like the ones you usually see. They’re also smaller. The green stuff on the belly is eggs. I’m sure there are things you can do with the eggs, but we’re just getting started here, so we just went for the shrimp meat. Almost all of the shrimp were females with just a few males here and there. As explained in this NPR report, apparently they’re born male and then become female after a couple of years and spawn – hmm.
After peeling the shrimp tonight we made Linguine with Shrimp Scampi. The recipe follows. Tomorrow I think I’ll make Shrimp Risotto. These shrimp are really the sweetest, most tender shrimp I’ve ever had. They’re nothing like the ones you usually have.
Linguine with Shrimp Scampi
1-1.5 lbs Gulf of Maine shrimp (about 1/2 to 2/3 of a pound after peeling etc)
1 lb linguine
2 Tbsp garlic
2-3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
3Tbsp lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1/4 cup white wine
salt & pepper
First bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook the linguine. Drain the pasta and toss with a little olive oil so that it won’t stick, keep warm. In a large frying pan melt the butter and olive oil over medium hear. Add the garlic. When the garlic just begins to turn golden add the shrimp – they will cook very quickly – saute and stir for about 1 minute – No More you don’t want to overcook these! Remove the shrimp to a bowl. Add the zest, lemon juice, wine, salt and pepper. Boil for a couple of minutes to thicken a little bit. Combine the sauce and the pasta, then toss in the shrimp. Serve immediately. It really should have a bit of parsley, but I didn’t have any tonight and it was fine. We had it with some nice no-knead bread and Jamie Oliver’s Dinner Lady Carrots (much better than you’d expect from the name).