Wheatless Wednesday – Salt and Pepper Shrimp with Garlic and Chile

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Salt and Pepper Shrimp are finger licking good!  I’ll bet you can’t eat just one… I’m not even a shrimp fanatic and I loved these spicy, slightly crispy, garlicky shrimp.   They are perfect on their own as an appetizer. I guarantee they will get gobbled up and they don’t even need a dipping sauce, just lots of napkins.   Or pair them with rice and veggies for a complete meal.  Turn a simple buttered pasta into a delicacy by topping it with several beautiful and tasty shrimp.  Better yet, how about warm spicy shrimp over lightly dressed mixed baby greens, yum!

Did you know that shrimp is the most popular seafood in the U.S.? They are also a good choice from a nutritional standpoint.  They are low in fat and calories and zero carbohydrates but high in protein and heart healthy omega-3 fats.  Shrimp are a great choice when you are pressed for time since they cook in just a few minutes.  If you buy easy-peel or pre-shelled shrimp, the prep work is mostly done for you but the shelling and deveining process is not that difficult, it doesn’t even take that long.   Click HERE  for a handy video on shelling shrimp with just one cut.

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NOTES ON SHRIMP:  When buying shrimp, look for wild vs farmed shrimp, if possible, and pay attention to where they are from.  According to Seafood Watch, wild-caught shrimp is generally a “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative” with the exception of shrimp fisheries in Mexico and Louisiana, which are on the “Avoid” list for poor management. Farmed shrimp from the U.S. is also a good option.  However, 90% of our shrimp is imported farmed shrimp, mostly from Asia, and is generally on the “Avoid” list due to questionable practices including overcrowding, chemicals, poor quality of food and even abusive labor conditions. So even though they are likely to be more expensive than farmed, wild-caught shrimp are also better for you. The Huffington Post also reported that wild-caught shrimp are better for the environment, our health and our taste buds. Choosing to eat wild shrimp also helps sustain American jobs and fishing communities.

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Photo Credit – http://www.tasteofthai

If you don’t have Chinese Five Spice powder, which I didn’t, you can substitute with what you have in your pantry.  It is typically composed of star anise, cloves, fennel seed, cinnamon, and Sichuan peppercorns, so if you have any of those ingredients, start there.  I used bit of clove, cinnamon and crushed fennel seeds and added some Creole Seasoning which has black and red pepper and chili powder.  The cloves really combined nicely with the garlic and chiles, so I will definitely be using it more in cooking.  I suppose I will be looking for Chinese Five Spice next time I’m at the market. Who knew?

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SALT AND PEPPER SHRIMP WITH GARLIC AND CHILE

2 Tbsn cornstarch
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder or Creole Seasoning + pinch of clove and cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 serrano chile, thinly sliced into rounds
4 large scallions (green parts only), sliced 1/4 inch thick
1-1/2 lb. large shrimp (26 to 30 per lb.)
3-1/2 Tbs. peanut or avocado oil
1 small lime, cut into 4 wedges (optional)

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  • Peel and devein the shrimp if necessary. Using a sharp knife, slice through the underside of the shell and remove the legs, the vein and shell, leaving the tail on.  Then make a slice along the back and remove the second vein.  Click HERE  for a handy video on shelling shrimp with just one cut.

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  • Rinse and dry the shrimp dry with paper towels. In a large bowl, mix the cornstarch, sugar, five-spice powder, salt and pepper.

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  • Prepare the garlic, chile, and scallions; set aside.

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  • Add the shrimp to the cornstarch mixture and toss until evenly coated.

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  • In a heavy-duty 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1-1/2 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Add half of the shrimp in a single layer. Cook without disturbing until deep golden and spotty brown on one side, about 2 minutes.

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  • Using tongs, quickly flip each shrimp and continue to cook until the second sides are spotty golden brown, about 1 minute longer. (The shrimp may not be cooked through at this point.) Transfer the shrimp to a platter or plate. Add another 1 Tbs. of the oil to the skillet and repeat with the remaining shrimp, transferring them to the plate when done.

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  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil to the skillet. Add the garlic mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the chile and scallions are softened and the garlic is golden and aromatic, about 1 minute.

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  • Return the shrimp to the pan and stir to combine. Serve immediately, with the lime wedges.

Adapted from Fine Cooking

Salt and Pepper Shrimp with Garlic and Chile

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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2 Tbsn cornstarch
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder or Creole Seasoning + pinch of clove powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 serrano chile, thinly sliced into rounds
4 large scallions (green parts only), sliced 1/4 inch thick
1-1/2 lb. large shrimp (26 to 30 per lb.), peeled and deveined, tails left on
3-1/2 Tbs. peanut or avocado oil
1 small lime, cut into 4 wedges (optional)

  • Peel and devein the shrimp if necessary. Using a sharp knife, slice through the underside of the shell and remove the legs, the vein and shell, leaving the tail on.  Then make a slice along the back and remove the second vein.  Click HERE  for a handy video on shelling shrimp with just one cut.
  • In a large bowl, mix the cornstarch, sugar, five-spice powder, salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix the garlic, chile, and scallions; set aside.
  • Rinse and dry the shrimp dry with paper towels.
  • Add the shrimp to the cornstarch mixture and toss until evenly coated.
  • In a heavy-duty 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1-1/2 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Add half of the shrimp in a single layer. Cook without disturbing until deep golden and spotty brown on one side, about 2 minutes.
  • Using tongs, quickly flip each shrimp and continue to cook until the second sides are spotty golden brown, about 1 minute longer. (The shrimp may not be cooked through at this point.) Transfer the shrimp to a platter or plate. Add another 1 Tbs. of the oil to the skillet and repeat with the remaining shrimp, transferring them to the plate when done.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil to the skillet. Add the garlic mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the chile and scallions are softened andthe garlic is golden and smells toasted, about 1 minute.
  • Return the shrimp to the pan and stir to combine. Serve immediately, with the lime wedges.

 

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