During my childhood, bay shrimps were a stable part of the spring and early summer meals. It is one of those memories that has been implanted in my brain and makes me smile from ear to ear every time I see small shrimps at the local seafood monger. One of the perks of living near the ocean and having easy access to great seafood.
A large number of people in my home Viking country of Denmark, live close to the ocean and have easier access to great seafood. However, Danes tend to eat the fish that are readily available in our oceans, and not an abundance of tilapia, chilian seabass, etc. We stick to turbot (flatfish), cod, mackerel, coastal shrimps, and other more local/native species.
My dad and I would head to the local fishmonger, buy a large back of fresh (live) shrimps, and head to the local baker afterward to pick up a fresh loaf of bread. Being a dad of an older generation, grocery shopping was not one of his strengths, but he enjoyed getting the supplies for our shrimp feast.
Boiling large quantities of shrimp can be traumatic for some, as you gently pour all the live shrimps into a large pot of scalding/boiling water. As a kid, I swear I could hear the poor shrimps scream as my day unloaded them into the water of death. I always tried to save a few shrimps, only to see them wither away in a cup of regular tab water. Nevertheless, it was a learning experience and it is how we cooked.
Our family would sit around the garden dining table, chatting while peeling shrimps. You carefully placed each shrimp on a slice of white bread (toast bread), slowly piling the shrimp on top like a shrimp Jenga until they started to roll off. Once that happened you knew you had the perfect shrimp slice.
Fresh shrimps are often loaded with eggs, which adds extra flavor and nutrition to the meal. A downside to these eggs is that they get all over your fingers as you try to peel off the shell. They get on your clothes, glasses, bottles … everywhere. But, it’s part of the shrimping experience as Forrest Gump and Bubba would’ve said.
Once you have mastered the shrimp Jenga, you carefully add a little mayonnaise and sprinkle some freshly pressed lemon over the creation. The masterpiece is ready for consumption.
The real challenge comes when you attempt to eat the loaded shrimp bread. I can guarantee you that half the shrimps will fall back down on the plate, you will have a mayo mustache, and your fingers will be covered with shrimp smells after peeling them.
Perhaps that is the reason my mother always told me to use my fork and knife when eating shrimp bread sliders for dinner 🙂
I often try to relive my childhood shrimp memories with my kids, but we tend to use frozen shrimps. We live too far from the coast, and most seafood mongers only have pre-boiled large shrimps, and many times they are already peeled.
During my shrimp explorations, I have found a great way to serve shrimp, with a little extra kick. It is a fairly healthy dish and it’ll help you pursue aggressive ways to shed some of the body fat we’ve been storing during the winter – the layers of insulation have to come off to be ready for our beach adventures.
Please note, this recipe does not necessarily involve my Traeger, although you could gently grill the shrimps for a more awesome flavor and experience.
It is a simple salad that you can mix together in no time – assuming you have the ingredients.
- 1 lb raw salad shrimps, peeled and deveined
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Juice from 3 limes
- 2 avocados
- 1/2 English cucumber … or a full American cucumber
- 10-15 cherry tomatoes, halfed
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- A handfull of fresh Cilantro, chopped
Preparing the Avocado and shrimp salad
- Gently fry the shrimps using the olive oil.
- Saute until the shrimps turn pink and then remove from the pan.
- If you use pre-boiled shrimps, just heat up the shrimps slightly
- Place the shrimps in a large bowl
- Squeeze the limes and pour of the shrimps
- Dice cucumber, slices tomatos and cut the avocados into cubes
- Add the vegetables to the mixing bowl with shrimp
- Chop the onion finely, add to the bowl
- Chop the cilantro and add to the bowl
- Gently mix the ingredients in the bowl, making sure it’s all combined
You can eat the shrimp salad as a nice lunch, or as a nice side for your BBQ dinner. It all depends on the occasion and your mood.
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