One of the nice things about Maine shrimp coming into season in mid-winter is that they have such a summery, back-porch quality. When it's warm, we often serve a heaping bowl of Gulf shrimp with a roll of paper towels, plenty of lemons, and a little spicy mayo for dipping.
Maine shrimp are tiny and some come with their heads intact. I cook them in plenty of water with Old Bay Seasoning or Zatarain's Crawfish, Shrimp, and Crab Boil and serve them much like Gulf shrimp. After simmering -- they take about 2 minutes -- rinse them quickly with cold water to stop the cooking. Then toss with a little olive oil, salt, and crushed red pepper.
You decide whether you want to eat these shrimp with their shells intact or peel them. The shells are quite crunchy and good.
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2/3 cup mayonnaise
Generous dash liquid hot sauce
2 lemons, cut into wedges
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with the seasoning. Add the shrimp. Stir well. Cook for 2 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink and firm.
2. Drain the shrimp into a colander and rinse with cold water until they are cool.
3. In a bowl, toss the shrimp, oil, salt, and red pepper.
4. In another small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, hot sauce, and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Serve the shrimp with the mayo. Sheryl Julian
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ContributorsSheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.
Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.
Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.