The shrimp is a small crustacean. There are many varieties, the most common being the pink shrimp, which has a delicate flavour and the brown shrimp, which is greyish in colour and turns reddish-brown when cooked.
Shrimps are available all the year round. They are sold fresh (by the pint or pound), canned, frozen, dried, potted and cooked and peeled. Two pounds of un-shelled shrimps are approximately equivalent to 1 pound shelled.
Shrimps make excellent hors d’ocuvre, and are also eaten cooked and served cold, steamed, grilled , baked, boiled or fried as a main course.
When peeling shrimps, it is preferable, though not essential, to remove the black intestinal vein running the length of the flesh.
To boil fresh shrimps, allow 12- pints of water and 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 pound of shrimps. In a large saucepan, bring the water to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate and place the shrimps, still in their shells, in the water. Cook for 3 to 6 minutes or until the shrimps change colour. Remove the pan from the heat and, with a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimps to kitchen paper towels to drain. Cool before using.