Ingredient SpotLight

In 2001, shrimp replaced canned tuna as America's favorite seafood overall. There's a great reason for this. Versatile, healthy and quick to cook, shrimp is a fantastic source of lean protein that is equally at home in elegant holiday dishes and creative comfort food. They can be easily boiled, grilled, sautéed, roasted, stir-fried, and baked. With the simplest preparation, you can have an elegant meal on the table in minutes. However you prepare them, opt for a quick cooking method as they don't need much cooking and maintain more of their tantalizing briny flavor and tender texture when treated to a short time with the heat.

Beyond that, shrimp are low in fat and calories and high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids. They are also an excellent source of vitamin B12, niacin, iron, zinc and copper. So enjoy them with enthusiasm and in a wide variety of dishes this year. Happy New Year!

Shrimp Etouffee

  • 2 cups onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium-size fresh unpeeled shrimp
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 T. margarine
  • 3 T. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 8 oz. clam juice
  • 6 cups hot cooked rice

Peel and devein shrimp and set aside. Coat a large, heavy saucepan with cooking spray. Place over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from pan and set aside in a bowl. Melt margarine in pan over medium heat then stir in flour. Cook 7 minutes or until very brown, stirring constantly. Gradually add water, blending with a wire whisk. Stir in vegetable mixture, salt, pepper, red pepper, and clam juice. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Add shrimp and cook an additional 10 minutes or until shrimp are done.

In the meantime, cook rice so it finishes about the same time the shrimp mixture does. Serve shrimp etouffee over rice and garnish with parsley sprig. Alternately, it could be served over your favorite pasta.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Crispy Coconut Shrimp

  • 24 medium shrimp
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic and herb seasoning
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray large baking sheet with non-stick spray. Sprinkle shrimp evenly with seasoning blend and pepper. Place flour, egg, and coconut in three small separate bowls. Dip shrimp first in egg, then flour, then back in egg, then generously in coconut. Arrange shrimp on baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden and crisp. Serve with dipping sauce.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes