Friday, September 3, 2010
The Shrimp That Never Was
I like to live dangerously.
I scurry here and there, always on the verge of a disaster, so close to the edge on deadlines that I can feel the wind from the abyss blowing upward through my hair and hear pebbles and loose branches scuttling from under my flats as they go spinning outward into nothingness.
Sometimes I make it, smiling serenely like Martha Stewart on tv as she displays her Good Things.
Other times I trip and fall head-first off the cliff, arms flailing like a colorful human pinwheel.
This time around I found myself running into my house 20 minutes before my guests. No problem, right? A little get together after work with wine and a few tasty treats to welcome new workmates Nancy and Erin. Easy peasy.
Slam! went the drawers as I threw random clutter into their dark recesses. Swish! went the broom as dirt bounced into the dustpan. Spray! went the water as it ran merrily over snap peas, red pepper, and carrot crudites. Crackle! went the bag as it popped open and out tumbled pita chips on a platter with bowls of hummus and red pepper-artichoke spreads. Creak! went the oven as it received the coconut curry chicken springrolls. Sigh! went the vacuum-packed container as it released the salty perfume of prosciutto destined to adorn the tops of bread sticks.
I'm rockin' and rollin' to my symphony of sounds. I even have time to line a platter with frizzy, sassy kale on which I'm going to display my main appetizer of Old Bay Shrimp.
5 minutes to go. Splash! goes the shrimp into its simmering, seasoned bath.
I watched in horror as white scum materialized and latched onto the shrimp's curves, transforming them into mutant shrimp. Eww.
You'd think I'd be crying now as I fall off my metaphorical cliff, but who's at the door but Ruth with her famous multi-layer Mexican dip, Jeannette with her Italian pastries, and Julia with her pretty rollups. Sarah, Erin, Elizabeth, Desiree and Nancy bring wine, and in no time, we're enjoying ourselves in the family room, shrimp discreetly hidden away in the kitchen.
And that's how the shrimp became The Shrimp that Never Was, and I averted disaster.
At least this time around.
P.S. The next night I opened another bag of defrosted Trader Joe's wild rock shrimp and Old Bayed it to see what happened. Was it the brand of shrimp I bought or something else? This batch turned out fine, and it's what you see in the opening picture. I can only posit that the shrimp in the first bag was not fully defrosted when I dumped it in the pot and maybe that's what causes the floating protein (scum). If you know what happened, please comment.
We make this shrimp a lot as it's easy, tasty, and fast. Great for football viewing and cocktail parties.
The recipe for Old Bay Seasoning Shrimp is here.