Joie De Vivre #25: Peel & Eat Shrimp
Posted by Shannon on 01/03/2012
A childhood summer memory I love is eating dinners of corn on the cob and boiled shrimp dipped in melted butter. My sister and me would help shuck the corn (fresh from Carpinito Brothers) outside on the deck, then my parents would start cooking the corn and the shrimp in tall silver pots on the stove. As the sun faded into the night, we’d sit around the table with lemony butter for our shrimp and more napkins than usual to help with the “hands-on” meal. We’d each have extra plates next to our dinner plates for the shrimp shells, and I remember me sitting there shelling shrimps and excitedly dropping them into my butter cup to soak for a minute.
Even last summer when I was back visiting we continued the tradition. I remember happily looking around the table at my family, loving that I was back home during summertime to have one of my favorite meals together.
Over the summer I found a local seafood fix, this time right here in Redondo Beach. Quality Seafood is renowned for delicious fish, crab, oysters, mussels, clams, octopus, and sea urchin. They are consistently stellar and brought in from the ocean that very morning!
I started out with oysters that were plucked from their tank and shucked onto my plate right in front of me. My favorite variety is Kumamoto, which are on the bottom right of the plate shown below. I dressed them with a squirt of lemon juice, horseradish and cocktail sauce then tipped the shells up to the sky one at a time.
The majority of lunch was a pound of shrimp and veggies, cooked to order. Oysters are refreshing and flavorful, but my stomach was on “E,” even after eating so many.
But something kept me from enjoying them immediately: lurking, beady-eyed seagulls. They kept inching closer and closer to me, über aggressive and seemingly also hungry for my food. I quickly decided to relocate so I could diving into the mound of shrimp in peace.
Once settled further down the pier, past the arcade at a table with a view of the pier and ocean, it was time for spicy, Cajun-seasoned shrimp. The mountain of shrimp was quickly replaced by a pile of napkins and shells. What a nice lunch enjoyed in the sun, by the sea!