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The "Buy American" food movement is nothing new to Stew Leonard's - we've been doing it for years. A great example is our incredibly sweet wild Gulf shrimp. "Wild" means that we bypass mass production shrimp farms and instead send our own chartered boats out into clean waters where wild shrimp live. Our shrimp are so flavorful because they have to fend for themselves out in the ocean and they eat more of a pure diet. As soon as our boats return to port, the shrimp are packed on ice and shipped immediately to all Stew Leonard's stores.

Stew's Shrimp Tips:



Buying:

 

  • Look for shrimp with firm white meat and a full shell. They should be displayed on fresh ice.
  • Do not buy shrimp with black spots or rings on the shell (unless you are buying black tiger shrimp) as this indicates that the meat is starting to break down.
  • Shrimp should smell briny and sweet.
  • Plan on a quarter to a third of a pound per person for a cocktail and a half a pound per person if it's a main course.
  • All shrimp are sold by sizes and are based on the approximate number of shrimp per pound. See chart below.

 

Stew Leonard's Seafood



Preparing:


To devein shrimp, run a sharp paring knife along the back of the shrimp, cutting through the shell just deep enough to expose a thin black vein. This is the shrimp's digestive tract, and it can be bitter. Once you have exposed this black vein, use a small knife to remove it. Please note that many cooks don't bother with this time consuming task and simply leave the black vein in place. It's up to you. (Many kitchenware stores carry a nifty gadget for removing the tract. If you are a shrimp lover, it may be a good investment.)

Cooking:


Shrimp can be cooked in a variety of ways; boiled, steamed, grilled, sautéed, baked, deep-fried, and on and on. They also can be cooked with or without the shell and deveined or not. Whatever method you choose, don't walk away from the shrimp while you are cooking for even 30 seconds because there is a narrow window of success. It can cook fast and then overcook.

The BEST WAY to Cook Shrimp for SHRIMP COCKTAIL:


Place cleaned shrimp in a pot of cold water. Place on stove, stirring from time to time. Just before boiling, a froth will come to the top. Turn off and let shrimp sit in the water for about three minutes until the shrimp curls around and the tail almost touches the other end. Remove from the stove. Run cold water into pot to slowly cool down. Once cooled, remove shells (but leave the tail shell for a handle). Place in refrigerator until ready to eat. Serve with Stew's Cocktail Sauce and lemon wedges