I set a bag of frozen shrimp in my refrigerator to thaw but didn’t get around to making the recipe I had in mind, so days passed…one, two…I couldn’t face three, so I poached them. And I’m going to do it regularly! On day one, even!
This quick, gentle cooking method is just the trick having some healthy protein on hand…mix up some cocktail sauce for dipping (Henry’s Catsup with a dollop of creamed horseradish tastes great!) or toss them in your salad. (Yes. You have to make the dressing! Easy. See these: shallot vinaigrette, or olive oil mayonnaise.)
Look for shrimp that are sustainably fished from the wild or farmed with environmentally sound practices. I’ve found sustainable Gulf Coast brands in my stores, so they’re out there. Read your labels and check out this article about buying shrimp from Eating Well.
- 1 - 2 pounds medium shrimp (16/20 count), thawed if frozen, shells and vein removed
- 2 lemons
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp. celery seed
- 1 Tbsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. paprika
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- 3 whole allspice
- 1 whole clove
- several grinds of black pepper
- Set large pot of water on stovetop and turn on the heat. Squeeze in the juice from all four lemon halves and toss the lemon halves. Add the bay leaves, celery seed, salt, and other spices if you have them (if not, no worries). Bring stockpot of goodies just barely to a boil and let simmer 5 minutes to infuse the liquid.
- Get a bowl of ice water ready - you will put the shrimp in here immediately after cooking.
- Lower the heat under the stockpot until water stops simmering. Add shrimp and move them around in the hot water to evenly distribute the heat. The shrimp are done when they have turned opaque and pink, about 3 minutes. Keep the water hot, but not boiling during this poaching time.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked shrimp to the ice bath to stop the cooking. After a minute or so, transfer shrimp out of ice bath and chill until ready to serve.