Key West pinks, royal red, Gulf white or take your pick.

Dipnetting shrimp under a December moon is one way to get ’em. Limit is 5 gallons per boat.

This is one of those recipes that’s totally variable—with the exception of the main ingredient, wild-caught jumbo shrimp. Don’t be tempted by price and looks to use those watery farm-raised blobs that often appear on all-you-can-eat buffets or airline first class meal trays. It’s no problem to find good quality frozen shrimp. I’ve had good luck with the frozen, wild-caught shrimp sold by Publix Supermarkets in one-pound bags. Buy them with the shells on, thaw them overnight in the fridge before you need to cook, then peel and devein for this recipe. Better yet, catch your own.

Ingredients

There are just three additional ingredients needed for this recipe: olive oil, flaked sea salt, and hot paprika. The olive oil needs to be high quality virgin oil. Someone gave me a bottle of Mazzone (mazzoneoliveoil.com) olive oil that’s infused with oranges. Its hint of citrus really puts this dish over the top. I also use black sea salt (also a gift!), but white or pink would do just fine. For paprika, you can buy Pride of Szeged Hungarian paprika in either sweet or hot variety. I prefer hot.

Directions

  • First, peel and devein the shrimp.
  • Dry them on paper towels and toss them with just a few tablespoons per pound of the olive oil.
  • Spread them evenly on an oiled (spray oil works fine for this) rack placed over a lipped baking pan.
  • Sprinkle lightly with some salt and paprika.
  • Broil on high with the rack placed midway in the oven until the shrimp curl into the shape of the letter “C.” Shrimp that cook into “Os” are likely to be chewy!

Allow about a pound of shrimp for every six people you plan to serve. If your guests are notorious for filling up on appetizers, change the ratio accordingly. Shrimp in the 16/20-count size should give everyone a chance at having a few to start their meal. FS

First Published Florida Sportsman Magazine December 2018

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