Thursday, March 11, 2010

Decadence

Growing up at the doorstep of the Chesapeake Bay gave me a deeply rooted love of seafood, the blue crab holding my heart in it's deep blue claws. Not far behind in the seafood love-fest was the shrimp. Quickly steamed in a special mixture of spices, a big pile of tender pink headless shrimp would tide us through the long gray winter months until spring and that first dozen crabs. But it wasn't until I had the head-on Salty Crispy Shrimp at my favorite dim sum joint that I realized there's a lot of flavor in those lovely shrimp heads.
suckdaheads
I'm lucky enough to live in a city that boasts a large and varied immigrant population which translates into some amazing places to shop for all sorts of ingredients. One being big, beautiful heads-on shrimp. How best to showcase these beauties? The Culinary Godmother was consulted and a plan of action was set in place. Again, simplicity wins the day.
suckdaheads2
Deep fry the shrimp in some peanut oil, maybe 25 to 30 seconds a side but really until the shrimp just reach that pink shade of deliciousness. Quickly remove the shrimp from the oil and while they are still hot, sprinkle with your favorite spice seasoning. If you want you can shell your shrimp but I eat them shells and all. Make sure you suck the heads for all their tasty goodness. Simple prep, amazing, decadent goodness.Now...it wasn't all perfection. I did attempt to make from scratch lemony mayonnaise. Where's the picture of that you asked? When there's not a picture it can only mean one thing - FAIL. Yes my virginal attempt at mayo making was a disaster and a waste of good eggs, oil and lemons. I won't give up on successfully making from scratch mayo but just not while I've got those luscious shrimp waiting. Trust me if you can find shrimp with their heads, try them just once. You won't be sorry.

11 comments:

Making Space said...

Wow - beautiful!

Dani said...

When you eat the heads and shell is it crunchy? Or does frying them in the peanut oil soften them up?

Big Shamu said...

Crunchy. I have a feeling it's something not everyone enjoys, kinda like eating a soft shell crab except a little crunchier.

Kate said...

I love love love head on shrimp. My first encounter was in Hong Kong on a business trip. One restaurant served just the tentacles fried up in a bowl.......It was crunchy delicious heaven.

Big Shamu said...

That does sound good Kate, and welcome to the Kitchen.

moi said...

I'm not a fan of shrimp as typically served up in American restaurants, but when served like this, yeah buddy, shells and all. Yum.

LaDivaCucina said...

Hi Shamu! Well, you know how what La Diva thinks of those oh-so-flavorful prawn heads!!! Wait til you see the photos I took from the fish markets in Sydney, tiger prawns, king prawns, scampi!!

I have Key West pink prawns down here, but they only sell them headless for some reason. I'm going to try to see if I can get them with the heads on from somewhere. Sure the heck beats eating flash frozen farmed shrimp from Thailand or Vietnam.

Missed your mouth watering photos!

xxx

LaDivaCucina said...

PS: What happened with the mayo? Did you get impatient adding the oil?

moi said...

La Diva's back! Hi, La Diva! Can't wait to hear about your trip . . .

Big Shamu said...

Moi, I know exactly what you mean. I haven't seen a restaurant in these parts except for good ole Bo Ling's making use of those heads. Pity.

LADIVA!!! You're back. Was not sure you were coming back but so glad you did. CAN. NOT. WAIT to see your food porn.

The mayo. Not impatient just not sure the best way to make. Blender, hand, Kitchen Aid? I will try again soon.

LaDivaCucina said...

Hey Girl! I always make my mayo in the food processor and drip the oil in very slowly.....am looking forward to making some Meyer lemon mayo when I see them again!