Shrimp is easy to prepare as a quick meal. Even after taking it straight from the freezer, you can have a ready-cooked meal on your table within 15 minutes. There is a lot involved in preparing this delicacy, but the beauty of it is that all the processes are simple and can be followed even by a novice.
Although there are multiple ways of cooking shrimp, the main appliances used include ovens and griddles. Today, we will be looking at how to cook shrimp on a griddle and produce a tasty meal.
Why a griddle?
Griddles provide you with extra advantages over using an oven. First, you will have a large surface to cook on. This lets you prepare more shrimp at once and you can serve them as they cook.
Secondly, you will also be there to watch them cook and control how they cook. With ovens, you just turn on the heat and leave them for a fixed duration. Such a method reduces your chances of controlling how your shrimp cook.
However, with a griddle, you can let them cook longer or lower the heat to ensure they are cooked at the optimal temperature and in the proper conditions.
It is important to prepare your griddle for the cooking session. How do you do that? One way to prepare your griddle is by cleaning it to get rid of any grease that may have been stuck on the cooking surface. A clean cooking surface ensures that only the right flavors embed themselves into your shrimp delicacy.
Be careful not to wet the heating elements of the griddle. Once you’ve cleaned it thoroughly, get the appropriate ingredients and lay them all out on a kitchen counter.
You are going to need the following ingredients:
- 1 lemon
- Shrimp with heads chopped off (1 lb)
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Unsalted butter
- Dry white wine
- Black pepper
- Six cloves of garlic
- Peel and cut the garlic into thin slices
Steps to cooking the shrimp
Marinate the shrimp for 20 minutes by placing it in a bowl, together with olive oil, pepper, and garlic. You can add red pepper to the mix but this is optional. Place the bowl in a freezer.
Turn on the heat of your griddle to medium.
Drop 1-2 tablespoons of butter and spread it on the surface of the griddle where you will pour your shrimp.
Take the shrimp out of the freezer and dump them onto the sizzling butter using a pair of tongs. Ensure each piece is resting on its side.
Let them cook for about 2minutes before flipping them to the other side to cook for another minute or so. Add the butter as necessary, but be careful not to put in too much.
Pour in the white wine in moderate amounts and let your shrimp cook for another minute.
Finally, drizzle a few drops of the extra-virgin olive oil across the shrimps. Squeeze some lemon juice over the shrimps, too, although this is optional.
Serve it with lemon wedges. Another excellent choice to consider is garnishing it with parsley.
This recipe should serve 2-4 people.
Mistakes to avoid when cooking shrimp
Thawing – If you have stored your shrimp in a freezer, do not defrost them in a microwave or thaw them by placing them on a flat surface. Use a colander. This allows the water to be drained, which prevents your shrimp from turning soggy. Also, don’t use warm water to thaw them, as they will soak it in.
Don’t overcook them – Shrimp cook very quickly because they have thin connective tissue. Don’t leave them unattended on the griddle for a second. Watch them constantly as they cook and turn them every 1-2 minutes.
Failure to de-vein them – Use a pair of kitchen shears to remove a long, black line that you will see running across the top of the shrimp’s body. This black strip is the guts of the shrimp, and you need to de-vein it before cooking if you want to remove any sand particles that may be in its system. However, this also depends on your preference and choice.
Extra tips to improve your shrimp cooking experience
The best shrimp sizes to go for when cooking on a griddle are large pieces of shrimp. It is easy to know the size of the shrimp inside a bag at your local store. Check on the count numbers. For example, if the bag says, 21/25, it means there are about 21-25 shrimp per pound inside it. The fewer the shrimps there are, the bigger they are.
For griddle cooking, get the ones written U/15, which means there are under fifteen shrimp per pound inside that bag. Those are the biggest.
Peeling and cleaning your shrimp
The choice to enjoy your shrimp with the shells on or not lies entirely up to you. However, if you would like to remove them, use kitchen scissors or a sharp knife to cut through them. If any sand particles stick to your shrimp during this process, just place it under cold running water, and it will wash away.
The shells are the holders of all the flavors found in shrimp. You need to include them, especially if you are cooking your shrimp on a griddle. Shells also prevent the shrimp from overcooking.
Marinating the shrimp
This is dependent on the marinade you are using. Anything acidic, such as lemon, should only be let to marinate for 30minutes at most. For the non-acidic marinades, you can leave them be for an hour or longer. Whichever the case, ensure you marinate them inside a refrigerator.
The most important detail to remember about preparing shrimp on a griddle is that you need to be there for the whole process. Don’t walk away and leave them cooking. They get ready very quickly, and they can easily become burnt. Finally, on the removal of the shells, you can keep them since they offer more nutritious additions to the meal, and they also make it crunchy. Now you know how to cook shrimp on a griddle, and with all that being said, go and enjoy your meal!