A plate of shrimp with a little explanation.
click for larger photo
I love this recipe from Cook's Illustrated for making shrimp. It looks good and turns out very tasty. You'll never want boiled shrimp again.
It does take some prep and you have to be very careful when using the broiler. We don't want to test the smoke alarm!
Before you do anything you have to make sure to get uncooked 16 to 20 per pound size shrimp with the shells on. Fresh is best frozen is ok. That's a pretty big size. Don't get anything smaller as the risk of overcooking goes way up.
Use some kitchen shears and cut up the back on the shell to the tail but not all the way. You want to leave it on for a heat shield and to add flavor.
Next you need to devein the shrimp and again be careful to make sure to leave the shell on.
Now give them a soak in some salty water for a quick brine for about 15 minutes.
While this is happening mix butter, garlic, pepper, parsley, and anise. I crush the anise then put it in a pan as I melt the butter and garlic. Then I strain out the anise and add the rest of the ingredients and set it aside.
Get the broiler ready and toss the prawns and garlic butter in a bowl.
Put the broiler pan about 4 inches from the broiler and set a 2 minute timer.
When the prawns get a nice color take them out, and flip them over, add more garlic butter if you have any left. If they need a little more time let them cook but be careful.
Broil for another 2 minutes or until they are done. The shells will have a beautiful roasted look and they will open up and split wide as the prawns cook.
Watch things carefully don't do anything else in the kitchen as they will overcook and/or burn fast!
You can turn the pan 180 degrees after a minute on each broiling session to even out the cooking and color but it isn't really necessary.
They will taste great!
here is the recipe
P.S. there is a lattice of coincidence that lays on top of everything