We are three sisters united in our search for the divine - in food, libation, literature, art, and nature. This blog will capture the true, sometimes decadent, at times humorous, and every so often transcendent adventures of the Salvation Sisters.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Brining for Succulent Shrimp Every Time

by Michelle

   Regardless of the final preparation, we have learned that shrimp of all sizes greatly benefit from 30 to 60 minutes of brining. Linda and I were so excited by the results of this method that we called Juliette to share the good news. She promptly burst our collective bubble by replying ever-so-matter-factly that she had been happily brining shrimp for years to which we said, "Thanks for sharing, wenchy. Apparently, we tell you everything and you tell us nothing." We are sisters, which means, in due time we got over the transgression. And unlike, our dear, lovely, cherished sister, Juliette we are passing this fantastic tip on to you.

Succulent Brined Shrimp

   We discovered this method by reading an excerpt of "Chef's Secrets" (Chronicle, 2004) that included a recipe from chef Mark Filippo. If you are diabetic, the sugar, of course, can be omitted. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.

1 pound fresh or frozen shrimp
2 quarts water
1/4 cup kosher salt, preferably Diamond®
1/4 cup granulated sugar

1. To make the brine: In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the water, sugar and salt until dissolved.
2. To soak the shrimp: Place the peeled and deveined shrimp in the brine solution, and allow to sit for 30 to 60 minutes at room temperature. Alternatively, place frozen (peeled and deveined) shrimp directly to the brine. When the shrimp are resting on the bottom of the bowl, they are ready to cook.
3. Final preparation: Drain the shrimp well in a colander and dry, if necessary according to your final preparation. Proceed with your favorite recipe: pan-fry, boil and shock, grill or sauté. The shrimp turn out succulent every time. Brining is definitely worth the extra step.

1 comment:

  1. Seems something was lost in translation about my "brining" process. I don't actually use a brine. Many years ago on some cooking show a Mexican woman was preparing camarones for some dish. She said the most delicious way to prepare shrimp for any kind of dish was to pack it in kosher or chunky sea salt. She said it improved not only the flavor, but the texture of the shrimp. She was right. If using frozen shrimp thaw first under cold running water. Then pack your shrimp in a bowl with the salt over, under, in between, and sideways. O.k., I added the sideways part, but you get the idea. Put the bowl in the refrigerator for a least one half hour.
    Sometimes I crack ice and pack it in around the shrimp along with the salt.
    Right before cooking, quickly rinse the shrimp in ice cold water.


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