Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Steamed Shrimp

This is a dish that reminds me of summers in Maryland.  Any dish with plenty of Old Bay and shrimp is redolent of a summer in Maryland.  The only thing missing is a few blue crabs.  But when I was growing up we ate steamed shrimp far more than we ever ate crabs.  So when I picked up some nice shell on wild shrimp I decided that it was past time to make myself some steamed shrimp like my mom used to make.  I took a page from Louisiana-style shrimp boils and threw the potatoes and the corn in with the shrimp.  When we ate this growing up my mom would steam the corn and roast the potatoes separately, but if I can cut down on the number of pots and pans we use I am all about it.  Plus if you put in a base layer of potatoes and corn you don't even need to use a steamer basket because the shrimp is on top of the base and out of the liquid!  It's pure genius.  And it results in perfectly cooked corn and shrimp.  Yum.  The only thing that could make this dish better or more summery is eating it outside on a deck at sundown on a table covered in newspaper.  Somehow eating it inside a NYC apartment on a dining table just didn't have the same feel to it.

Recipe after the jump!

Steamed Shrimp

bottle of beer (we used Sierra Nevada Summerfest)
Old Bay
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1/2 tbsp whole black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
3 dried chilis (we used chili de arbol)
1 lemon, cut in half
1 small red onion, quartered
5 cloves garlic, smashed
1 lb small red-skinned potatoes
3 ears of fresh corn, shucked
1 1/2 lbs extra large shell-on shrimp
lemon wedges

Fill a large pot 1/4 of the way with water.  Bring it to a boil.  Add beer, a generous amount of Old Bay, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, peppercorns, bay leaves, chilis, lemon, onion and garlic to the pot.  Reduce heat to simmer and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.  Add potatoes and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.  Add corn and simmer, covered, for 4 minutes.  Add shrimp, another dash of Old Bay and salt.  Simmer, covered, until shrimp has just turned pink and opaque, about 2-3 minutes. 

Remove from heat, drain, and serve with lemon wedges, Old Bay and butter.

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