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The ULTIMATE Shrimp – Forever!

Posted on: July 5th, 2011

Everyone loves shrimp – and why not?  Shrimps got it all; flavor, texture, juiciness, it’s easy to cook and wonderfully flexible – who can resist a good shrimp?!

Tony’s Shrimp Ceviche with our Tequila Lime Sauce

Some of the world’s finest shrimp comes from the our southern borders – in the Gulf of Mexico and the Sea of Cortez (think Baja California).  The white, brown, pink and rock shrimp from these area’s is hard to beat – they tend to have better texture and that juicy ‘snap’ that drives diners crazy!  Unfortunately the vast majority of the shrimp sold in the US is imported from far away – why?  Price!

Tony’s Cajun Shrimp – serve hot or cold – also available in Mile High Hot.

Most folks don’t realize how damaging irresponsible shrimp fishing and/or farming can be, especially when it is unregulated in third world countries.  Personally, I won’t touch a shrimp unless it is from North or Central America, because I don’t want to support the problem.  When catching wild shrimp, 20 plus pounds of other sea life is often killed and the sea floor habitat is damaged by the heavy chains dragging the bottom.  And farming can damage the spawning areas of thousands of other species and cause terrible pollution problems.

Of course, wild harvest and farming can be done responsibly, and our focus is on sustainability and quality – something few grocers do.  Here is a story about a new shrimp source at Tony’s, Fisherman’s Daughter Shrimp.  NOTE: Sources of shrimp are constantly changing with the season and new techniques and players in the market.  Specific brands of shrimp can never be guaranteed from season to season, but we’re always shopping for the best quality and sustainability.

White (Vannamei species) Shrimp from Fisherman’s Daughter – firm and flavorful!

As the story goes, a Fisherman’s daughter learned how damaging shrimping was and confronted her dad about it – he was so moved he figured out a new way to shrimp – new lighter nets that change water flow patterns and incorporate by-catch reduction devices.  It works – by-catch is reduced by a factor of 3.  They do tend to catch less shrimp, but they also have far less by-catch, use 30% less fuel, and at the same time they get a better, firmer shrimp – it’s a win-win situation.  Watch the video below – it’s 8 minutes well spent!

We’ve been paying close attention to sustainability for years now, especially after I read the book The End of the Line a couple of years ago.  I will admit, its tough balancing customer requests with doing the right thing – so we’ve continued to focus on education.  Look for Fisherman’s Daughter Shrimp at Tony’s – as well as a great selection of sustainable and eco-friendly seafood and meat choices throughout our markets.

Scampi Style Shrimp, recipe follows
Scampi Style Shrimp

1 pound premium imported linguini, fettuccini or pappardelle pasta (preferably Maestri Pastai)
4 TBS Tony’s Scampi Butter or butter
4 TBS olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 TBS minced or slivered shallots
1 TBS minced or thinly sliced garlic
pinches of crushed red pepper to taste
1.5 pounds Jumbo Fisherman’s Daughter Shrimp (shell on and deveined or peeled and deveined)
pinches of fine sea salt and black pepper
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup dry vermouth
4 TBS minced fresh Italian parsley
Sea salt and ground black pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat 12-inch skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add half the oil and half the butter along with the shallots, garlic and crushed red pepper – sauté until the shallots are tender.

Add shrimp and season with pinches of salt and pepper, sauté and toss just until done (about 2 minutes, depends on conditions and shrimp size). Remove to a bowl and reserve.

Return empty skillet to stovetop and add lemon juice and wine, bring to a boil. Add remaining butter, olive oil and reserved shrimp and toss with parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with pasta, finishing with a drizzle of olive oil. Serves 4-5.

Chef’s Note: Scampi is actually a lobsterette from Europe, quite honestly it’s not as good as White Vannamei shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico or the Sea of Cortez.  Scampi is served shell on – which is how I like to prepare my shrimp.  To devein, simply make a cut along the back of the shrimp and rinse out the vein – if you want, you can also pull off the shell and swimmer-ettes.

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