Thursday, June 17, 2010

What To Eat, from The Shrimp Council

A recent study by the International Food Information Council revealed that more than 60 percent of Americans are more interested in hearing about what to eat than what not to eat. From “trans-fat free” to “no preservatives,” what not to eat phrases bombard us from graphics at the grocery store to television advertising campaigns. I represent The Shrimp Council whose primary interest is to promote the consumption of shrimp. As you are thinking about your upcoming stories, I’d like to provide you with a few ideas about what to eat and to see if you’d be willing to work with us.

More than a dozen health and nutrition organizations recommend that we eat seafood at least twice a week, which would be approximately 39 pounds per person a year. However, the average American eats just 16 pounds of fish and shellfish annually. Meanwhile, each of us typically eats more than 70 pounds of poultry and 110 pounds of red meat.

Jennifer McGuire, MS, RD, National Fisheries Institute, is a strong advocate of the consumption of seafood as it is loaded healthy nutrients like protein, B vitamins, iron, and omega-3s, yet it is free of excessive calories and fat. The number one reason behind why we choose to eat certain foods is taste, and shrimp, known for its sweet, yet mild flavor, is the perfect choice!

Below are a few helpful hints courtesy of The Shrimp Council:

Buying shrimp
Did you know many fish markets will peel and devein shrimp on request for a minimal charge?
Buy shrimp in the shell for grilled shrimp to help lock in the moisture.

Thawing frozen shrimp
Thaw in the refrigerator one full day before you plan to cook the shrimp. Place the container in the refrigerator on a low shelf. Let shrimp defrost slowly for about 24 hours in a container covered lightly with plastic wrap, then remove any liquid that has collected in the packaging or the container. Use within one day.
If you have less time and can closely watch the shrimp. Place shrimp in a leak-proof plastic bag (if it is not in one already.) Submerge shrimp in cold tap water and change the water every 30 minutes until the food has defrosted. Do not try to advance the process with warm water because the shrimp will begin to cook. Cook immediately after thawing.

Cooking shrimp
Shrimp are properly cooked when their texture changes from mushy to firm, the color turns from brownish-gray to a warm orangey-pink, and the meat becomes opaque. Shrimp are overcooked when they curl tightly inwards and the flesh becomes rubbery.

Lemony Garlic Shrimp Cocktail

Number of Servings: 4

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced elephant garlic
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 pound large cooked shrimp, fresh or frozen, thawed
Freshly ground black pepper


Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until barely golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, parsley, and shrimp. Season with pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve, either plain (no cocktail sauce needed!), or on top of a salad.

Recipe Courtesy Of: The Shrimp Council and Janice Newell Bissex, MS, RD & Liz Weiss, MS, RD Cofounders, Meal Makeover

Shrimp and Scallop Fajitas

Serves: Four

Fajitas Ingredients:

12 large (16 to 20 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined, about 3/4 lb.
1 large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into 20 squares
1 large sweet onion, quartered and each quarter cut into half pieces separated
12 sea scallops, about 3/4 lb.
1 large green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into 20 squares
1/2 teaspoon lime peel, grated
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp salt
8 (7 to 9-inch) flour tortillas, warmed

Red and Green Salsa:
2 firm-ripe avocados, peeled, seeded and chopped into small squares
2 tsp lime juice
1-1/2 C prepared salsa

Thread the shrimp, red pepper and half the onion onto four 12-inch skewers, running the skewer through each shrimp twice. Thread the scallops, green pepper and remaining onion onto 4 more skewers. Place on a large shallow platter. Combine the lime peel, lime juice, oil, honey, garlic, pepper and salt. Pour over the skewers and marinate, turning occasionally for 15 to 20 minutes.

To make the salsa, toss the avocado with the lime juice and gently stir into the prepared salsa. Let stand 20 minutes or refrigerate up to 24 hours.
Coat the grill rack with vegetable cooking spray. Place kebobs on grill rack 4 to 6 inches over medium-hot coals. Grill, turning once, just until the seafood is opaque, allowing about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Wrap tortillas in aluminum foil and heat them on the grill.

To make the fajitas, slide the seafood and vegetables off of each skewer into a warm tortilla. Add "red and green salsa" to taste. Roll up tortilla to enclose the filling. Eat fajitas out of hand. Serve with refried beans or Mexican rice, if desired.

No comments: