Shrimp pizza night
February 26, 2013 § Leave a comment
Robert is guest blogging again. Sunday, February 24.
Yes, it’s snowing again, for the third weekend in a row. It is February in Maine, after all. No worries. We are well stocked and ready to ride out the storm.
I wanted to share a little pink gold with you. As I previously mentioned, Maine shrimp season started in late January, and I was determined not to miss the boat. First up were the trawlers, in which a fishing net is used behind a boat to capture the shrimp. A few weeks later, the trappers’ season opened. Here, the little devils are caught in traps (similar in appearance to lobster traps, but with much smaller holes, obviously). Locals tell us the trapped version are of a higher quality than trawled shrimp. At this point, I can’t really tell the difference.
At the end of the day, I bought 10 pounds of trawled shrimp from a fish market in Bath when the trawl season started. Then I bought the mother-load, 28 pounds, of trapped shrimp from one of our neighbors during the weekend of the blizzard a couple of weeks ago. Over the last few weeks I had to do a lot of cleaning and freezing to make sure this pink gold will last us for awhile.
While I haven’t used a lot to date (although I see a shrimp dip on the agenda for later this afternoon), we did have good luck with a couple Maine shrimp dinners earlier in the month. The first one was a Thai Tom Kha Gai soup. (Sorry, no pictures of this dish.) There are plenty of recipes on line for this soup, most with chicken. I subbed out chicken for shrimp. We were able to find the other obscure (in Maine at least) ingredients at a terrific new Asian market in Portland, Veranda Asian Market. A key ingredient in the soup is galangal, a member of the ginger family. Also important are lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves. As I usually do with soups, I used a fair amount of homemade stock (made from the shrimp shells). The flavorful stock allowed me to cut back the amount of coconut milk in the recipe. I do love coconut milk, but man, that stuff is full of fat!! This soup is a winner, and when combined with jasmine rice, it’s a wonderful winter meal.
The other dish in which Maine shrimp were the heroes (as my man Ming Tsai would say) was a white pizza. I made a nice herbed oil sauce (with basil, parsley, garlic, red pepper flakes, and olive oil), and then added mozzarella cheese, sautéed shrimps, spinach, and onions. (See the before shot directly above, and the after at the top of the post.) We like our pizzas nice and thin so they stay crisp on the bottom. I think white shrimp pizza is my all-time fave, and with 30-plus pounds of shrimp in our chest freezer, I see this recipe on my weekly list for a few months to come.