Do you think cooking shrimp recipes is only for the elite, trained chef? If you are overwhelmed with the thought, become familiar with the basics to open a new world.

A shrimp scampi recipe can pop out of your microwave in little time, and a grilled shrimp recipe can bring you praise from an appreciative family. Grilled shrimp recipes can make way for a shrimp pasta recipe the following week, as you get comfortable with the primary ingredient in shrimp recipes, the shellfish know as shrimp.

To visualize what you want to serve, consider the large range of sizes of shrimp that are on the market, each suitable for specific recipes. Bay or popcorn shrimp are used for accents whereas the colossal tiger shrimp is the star of any plate. Shrimp cocktail usually features large shrimp and medium shrimp fit perfectly on top of a bed of pasta.

To ensure you have quality ingredients, learn how to shop for shrimp. Keep in mind that the larger the shrimp, the more you will pay per pound. Fresh shrimp should have semitransparent flesh, be moist, firm, and have no ammonia odor or black spots on the shell.
The ration of fresh shrimp to prepared shrimp is 3 to 2, that is 1 1/2 pounds of shell on shrimp produces 1 pound of shelled shrimp.

It is a delight indeed to obtain fresh shrimp near its source, however, most shrimp today is or has been frozen. As with any frozen food, freezer burn is to be avoided and the product should be solidly and completely frozen. To thaw, place under running cold water or leave in the refrigerator overnight. If the shrimp you purchase is already thawed, the flesh should still be firm and glossy, making any shrimp recipe a visual delight.

If you are in a big hurry, then you can find less flavorful preprocessed shrimp. Learn how to quickly peel and devein unprocessed shrimp with these easy directions for peeling each shrimp. A shallow incision from the head end to the tail end requires a small sharp kitchen knife. The shell will then peel away to reveal what is called a sand vein, black in color. Using the sharp point of the knife, the vein can be removed and disposed of. The shrimp can easily be cut in half by placing it face down on a cutting board and slicing down the back. Rinsing the shrimp in cold water and keeping all at the same temperature gives a better result.

Whether your boil, fry, bake, steam, or broil the shrimp, the only limits are your creativity and resourcefulness. A cooked shrimp will be opaque when cut through the thickest part. To stop completely boiled shrimp from cooking when done, dump them in ice water. In addition, when sautéing shrimp, do not crowd the pan or the moisture released will steam rather than fry the shrimp. With these basics understood, your cooking vocabulary is enlarged along with your menu choices. Now eat hearty with delicious shrimp recipes and enjoy!