Without a doubt shrimp are probably the most popular and valuable of all seafood. Most people think of shrimp as the pinkish-hued crescents served as a cocktail with horseradish-infused ketchup. However, there is tremendous variation among species. According to local sources the finest shrimp are whitish and come up from South America, North Carolina, the Gulf of Mexico and Texas.
Shrimp are born in the ocean and are invisible to the naked eye. They ride on top of the waves, inexorably pulled inland to our local marshes, inlets and tidal creeks where they sink to the bottom to feed and grow until they ride out to the ocean again to breed. As they grow, they develop the flavor of the food they eat, the depth of where they live, and the water itself.
When buying “fresh” shrimp always shop at a reliable market and be sure they are firm in texture and smell fresh (don’t be afraid to put your nose to it.) Shrimp are frequently frozen at the source and carefully defrosted for retail. The amount and size you buy depends on how they are to be used. Shrimp are classified by size; the categories are 12 to 15 per pound for jumbos, 16 to 20 per pound for extra-large, 20 to 24 per pound for large, 25 to 32 for small and so on. About 2 pounds of uncooked shrimp will yield slightly more than a pound cooked after shelling and deveining.
This succulent salad which highlights the flavor of local shrimp, is creamy in texture with crunchy bits of celery and corn, and a nice kick is the ideal way to repurpose leftovers from a Lowcountry boil (even the potatoes and sausage could be added.) Served on a croissant or rolled in lettuce leaves, it makes a mouth-watering quick lunch or light supper.
2 cups medium shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup celery, chopped
½ cup corn, cut from cob
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon Old Bay® Seasoning
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Hot sauce to taste (optional)
If you are not using leftovers, you will need to cook the shrimp: In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup water to boil. Add unpeeled shrimp. Cover. Cook about 5 minutes or until shrimp are pink. Drain and allow to cool shrimp, then remove shells, devein and coarsely chop.
Combine all the ingredients, except the shrimp, in a mixing bowl. Add shrimp and toss to coat, then cover bowl. Refrigerate salad for 30 minutes or until ready to serve. Serve on a croissant with lettuce and sliced tomato for lunch time flawlessness!