I broke my cardinal rule this holiday of keeping it simple, keeping it easy. I’d previously posted on this blog about my fabulously easy, simple and delicious buffet for twenty people on Christmas night. And it was until I listened to a foodie family member (a very good cook) tell me how easy her recipe was for cilantro/lime shrimp. She was also a wee bit snarky about how I always buy frozen pre-cooked shrimp from whatever market is most convenient and for this dish I was to go to a proper fish market or to Costco. So I went to Costco and bought four pounds of frozen raw shrimp, and also a five pound bag of limes because part of the recipe called for the zest of eight limes, plus juice.
Christmas morning as I looked at my four pounds of now defrosted jumbo shrimp I realized they all had their shells on. I have never shelled shrimp before. I learned that it’s not terribly difficult but it’s not something you want to spend Christmas morning doing. I also realized something else; I’d forgotten the cilantro.
Finally, after all the shelling and zesting and last minute shopping for cilantro, the jumbo shrimp curled up into miniature shrimp when I baked them, and while good, they weren’t worth spending Christmas morning fiddling with, not to mention all the zesting and juicing. On Christmas Eve my goddaughter (also a very good cook) had served fantastic jumbo shrimp plain with cocktail sauce. When I told her my shrimp saga and asked how she did hers she said, “Oh, I bought the precooked shrimp and just defrosted it.”
In the end the party was simple, easy and great fun. But stayed tuned. I haven’t given up on cilantro/lime shrimp.