Friday, March 9, 2012

Spicy Shrimp – two ways to serve the same dish

Often when we think of shrimp, the first thing that comes to mind is “fried or boiled.” Well, that’s certainly not true anymore. Shrimp has come full circle and is as versatile as chicken.

This dish falls in what I call the “small plates” category, meaning a small informal yet chic meal that is healthy without leaving you feeling stuffed. These vividly seasoned shrimp are great on their own or served atop pasta. Leave the tails on for a prettier presentation.

One of the best parts about shrimp is that it’s healthy and good for you. Plus cooking time for shrimp is super speedy, making it perfect for quick and easy meals. The hands-on cooking time for this dish is 20 minutes, so in less than a half hour you can have dinner on the table.

The fun part about this spicy shrimp is that you can serve it two ways - with pasta or without, giving you some versatility.

Spicy Shrimp
Adapted from Cooking Light – serves 4 - 5

1 ½ pounds medium shrimp, peeled & deveined, preferably wild shrimp
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided (or use avocado oil if available)
Lime wedges

Sprinkle shrimp with salt. Combine sugar, chili powder, cumin, coriander and oregano and lightly coat the shrimp with the spice mixture.

Heat a teaspoon of the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add half of the shrimp and sauté 4 minutes or until done. Do not crowd the pan. Remove the shrimp from pan and repeat the procedure, adding 1 more teaspoon of oil before you add the remaining shrimp. Place shrimp on a platter and drizzle with remaining 2 ½ teaspoons oil. Serve with lime wedges. Serving with pasta extends the dish.

This recipe will be linked to Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate ThursdayFoodie Friday at Designs by Gollum, and On the Menu Monday at Stone Gable.

Have a great weekend everyone.


  1. You are so right!! I am starting to discover just how versatile shrimp is!

  2. Oh, those shrimps look so droolworthy! What amazing flavors. Both ways are great.



  3. Love shrimp and this recipe would be right up there. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I am taking the shrimp out of the freezer right now......looks absolutely delicious.

  5. I think we tend to underestimate shrimp's ability to stand up to spice at times. The dish is beautiful and sounds delicious. I am really loving the small plate trend.

    Have a tasty weekend.


  6. Nice flavor blend...I think it would good well with rice too, making a Caribbean dish.

  7. looks fantastic! I want shrimp for dinner tonight!

  8. I have come to realize that as we(I)age, I cannot eat a regular large meal. At home I serve what I can eat, but at restaurants, they have to fill your plate.
    I have noticed now that many have offer Small plates and tapas;so much better for me.
    I have to save this recipe for when I get home; Thanks.

  9. Can you help us West Coasters figure out how to buy good shrimp? Is frozen always going to taste horrid? Thank you!

  10. Looks absolutely scrumptious, Sam!
    Hope your wknd is wonderful!

  11. I love shrimps and this dish definitely is up to my alley! You have a beautiful collection of recipes in your blog! Plus great looking pictures!

  12. Delicious flavorful shrimp....I am drooling!

  13. Shrimp is such a favorite at our house! Pinning this one.

  14. These shrimps look mouthwatering! So are your photos.

  15. What an enticing dish! It looks fantastic, Sam~

  16. This sounds amazing, love the two variations too and all the delicious spices and herbs! YUM!

  17. Looks really good Sam - I'll have the one with pasta as the entree and the other for an appetizer. Bev just came home with six pounds of fresh caught gulf shrimp today.

  18. Love the spice in the dish to compliment the natural sweetness of the shrimp. Agreed on their versatility. Many different applications for them.

    Great job.

  19. Boy, does THAT look good, Sam!! Perfect for Lent...or anytime. I will be trying it very soon.

    I keep forgetting that I want to do a post about some garlic shrimp on the grill that my DD taught me how to make. You would LOVE those, too.

    Hope things are well for you in the warmth & sunshine. We are FINALLY getting some Spring weather up here in Ohio. Yipee!!!!


  20. Just perfect, Sam. We're so fortunate to have fresh shrimp available and I take advantage of it, too. Better yet...this dish takes no time at all and is packed with flavor!

  21. LPC has asked: “Can you help us West Coasters figure out how to buy good shrimp? Is frozen always going to taste horrid? Thank you! “

    I’m glad to answer that question LPC and thank you for asking: Try to find a reputable fish market in your area and get to know the fish monger. If you can’t find one, ask a restaurant chef you like where he or she would recommend you buy seafood and shrimp at retail – they know. Always ask questions at the fish market - a good fish monger should know the answers.

    Most of the shrimp we find at the supermarket counter today comes into the store frozen and they defrost it and put in the counter for sale, so you’ll want to know how long they’ve been there. You’ll want to avoid limp shrimp, which is a sign of age. Also do not refreeze shrimp that has been previously frozen.

    Sometimes you might even see “fresh, never frozen” at your market. Snap that one up right away and smile on the way to your car. Fresh is always best. You don’t even have to live near the coast to get fresh either. Sometimes it’s flown in. Just be sure it hasn’t been in the case too long. How would you know? Ask.

    When it comes to what kind of shrimp to buy, try to seek out freshly caught wild shrimp - it’s the best. Different kinds of shrimp are harvested in different waters. A lot of shrimp on the market is farm-raised today and I personally prefer wild caught for taste and texture. Most markets identify their shrimp as to farm-raised or wild caught.

    The other question: “Is frozen always going to taste horrid?” There’s probably some good quality frozen shrimp on the market, but I haven’t found it yet. I would love to be able to keep a bag of good shrimp in my freezer, believe me. If anyone has found a quality brand, I’m all ears. In a pinch you could use frozen, but follow the package directions carefully when you thaw it. Believe it or not, how you thaw shrimp affects the texture in the final product.

    Hope I've helped.

  22. Looking good - I love your shrimp variations! Lately I've been more than willing to forgo the pasta, so great to see this works both ways!

  23. I'm trying hard to diet right now for my daughter's Spring wedding date, so I'd have my serving without pasta, Sam. It looks absolutely delicious both ways!

  24. I love spicy shrimp! This one reminds me a little of the Ruths' Chris BBQ shrimp that I make and I serve it both ways too. Delicious!

  25. Shrimp has come full circle. This is a wonderful small plates dish...We just need a glass of wine, and we are ready!


  26. My eldest daughter and I LOVE shrimp and we were both drooling over your lovely photos and recipes - Delicious
    Mary x

  27. first class shrimp recipe one to pin he he

  28. Great looking dish, Sam. I totally agree with you about shrimp being so versatile. I had spicy shrimp last night and will do your version next with the southwest /Mexican spices...sounds great.

  29. Hi Sam!
    We are so blessed here to get wonderful Gulf Coast Shrimp.

    Your hard working recipe is just wonderful and I intend to give it a workout. It will be a real hit here at The Cottage.

    Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Happy St. Patrick's Day
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  30. More and more I crave spice with my shrimp. This is perfect - the spices keep it hearty and the shrimp keeps it light. A perfect mid-March meal.

  31. my mouth is watering and I am in love! These shrimp look so spicy and cajuny! So delicious!

  32. Waw! Your shrimp dishes two ways are looking magnificent & apart too!
    My husband wouldtotally dig these 2 lovely fab dishes!

    Real flavours in here! These dishes bring sunshine into the kitchen! Spring is nearly there!

  33. It looks and sounds delicious. Shrimp is a favorite of mine.

  34. I love the lively and bold flavors in this shrimp dish. This is perfect for the warmer weather.

  35. The shrimp look amazing! I love that they have a kick.

  36. I like this dish, Sam. We eat a lot of shrimp, and I'm bookmarking this one.

  37. We used to mostly eat boiled shrimp but as you say they are versatile and are delicious cooked in different ways. Your dish really looks delicious – I’ll copy it for the next time I buy fresh shrimp. I have not cooked shrimp with the spices you listed so it will be fun to try.

  38. i would love for you to feed me this now :) looks great! pinning for later us!

  39. Oh, yummy! Sam, the best way to serve shrimp is spicy! I'm making this, for sure! I love that you called this a "small plate"... it just suites shrimp! Your photography makes me hungry! Thanks for sharing this ON THE MENU MONDAY.
    xo Yvonne

  40. I found you through Tish Jett's blog. I love shrimp and will try this recipe.
    I signed up immediately as your new follower and look forward to reading your previous posts


  41. I think this would also work on the grill if I use a little of the oil and the spices as a marinade. Great looking pictures, y'all!

  42. The shrimp looks wonderful! I love your presentation. Absolutely beautiful.


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