Monday, January 17, 2011


This is the best way I have ever found to cook shrimp.  It is not a spice mix that adds additional flavors to the shrimp.  You make a broth of celery, onion, caraway seeds and bay leaves.  Then when the broth is nice and strong, you add the shrimp.  The broth serves to intensify the shrimp flavor.  You can use beer instead of water, but I don't think it adds anything to the broth that isn't there in the original recipe. Enjoy the beer yourself while the shrimp are cooking. 

Incredibly delicious.  Enjoy!!!!

I think Mom brought this recipe home from one of her gas company cooking school classes in 1929. When Mom was young, her Mom really didn’t like her in the kitchen so Mom didn't learn many cooking skills before she and Dad were married. My Dad was from the Netherlands. He loved good food plus he loved anything that came from the sea. Mom's family didn't even cook fish so Mom had a double problem, she couldn't cook and she knew nothing about seafood. Mom solved both her problems by taking cooking classes at the gas company. At that time, the gas company was not just a utility company. It was also a full service appliance store which sold and serviced appliances, offered cooking classes, printed recipe cards and seasonal recipe booklets, and had a customer service information department to answer all kinds of cooking questions. The classes not only taught my Mom to cook, they introduced her to ingredients she had never seen before like Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. The classes left a really big impression on Mom and they were one of the reasons she encouraged me to study food science in the 1960's. Mom never forgot that the home economists that taught the classes could make a big mess cooking, but someone else always came along and cleaned up. Mom liked that idea.

When they are this big and beautiful it is hard to share them!

My family has used this recipe for at least 80 years.  We have never found a better way to cook shrimp.

1 T salt, I do not use any salt and I don't miss it
3 bay leaves
Bunch of celery leaves
1 medium onion, cut into chunks
2 t caraway seeds
Water to cover the shrimp to be cooked plus a little extra
Raw shell-on shrimp

Ingredients:  Shrimp, celery, onions, bay leaves, caraway seeds and salt if desired.

In a large saucepan, bring salt (if using), bay leaves, celery leaves, onion, caraway seeds and water to a boil. Cover and simmer for at least15 minutes. Drop in shrimp; bring back to just before it boils. Quickly reduce the heat so shrimp just simmer. Gently simmer for about 5 minutes or less depending on the size of the shrimp.  Mom always bought big shrimp but they are getting hard to find.  Do not boil shrimp and do not overcook. Simmer just until shrimp are pink and tender. Drain. Shell and eat warm or cold.

Put celery, onions, bay leaves and caraway seeds in a large pot.  Add salt if desired.

Cover and bring to a boil.  Simmer until you have a nice strong broth.

Add shrimp and bring the mixture to just short of a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until shrimp on done.

Just as the broth enhances the shrimp flavor, so does this simple cocktail sauce.

Ingredients:  Chili sauce and prepared horseradish.

Put cocktail sauce in a bowl.

Add some horseradish to taste.  Stir and let set for flavors to meld.

Serve shrimp with cocktail sauce and enjoy!!!

I wish I had a dish of shrimp right now.  I would eat them all by myself.

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!

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