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MICROWAVE

Shrimp: The Easiest Seafood

May 30, 1991|MARCIA CONE and THELMA SNYDER | Cone and Snyder are cookbook authors. and

A lot of people think of shrimp as a difficult dish. Many are intimidated by the shell; others simply don't know what to do with them. But shrimp are easy to cook . . . and fast. Best of all, clean-up is simple. When you cook them, you're left with a boiling pan and a serving dish. With the microwave, the cooking dish is the serving dish.

The best way to cook shrimp evenly in the microwave is to use a dish large enough to leave the center open when the shrimp are placed around the sides.

Poached shrimp is probably the most versatile. They're delicious hot out of the oven; chilled they make terrific shrimp cocktails, shrimp salads, shrimp-and-cream-cheese spread for sandwiches or a minced filling for ravioli.

Spicy shrimp, also called "barbecued shrimp" in the South, should please those with a passion for fiery food. To maximize the flavor of the dipping sauce, do not peel the shrimp before cooking. Serve the shrimp with good-quality bread to mop up every last drop, with extra plates for the shells peeled at-table . . . and plenty of napkins to mop up hands.

Garlic shrimp is full of flavor but low on calories. Again, the shrimp are cooked in the shell--to add flavor.

POACHED SHRIMP

1 pound medium to large fresh shrimp, preferably unpeeled

1 clove garlic, minced, or 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon celery seeds

1 bay leaf, crushed

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine shrimp, garlic, celery seeds, bay leaf and lemon juice in 9- or 10-inch round microwave-proof cooking dish. Stir to coat shrimp, then push shrimp to outer rim, leaving center open.

Cover with lid or plastic wrap, turned back slightly on 1 side. Microwave on HIGH (100% power) 2 1/2 to 6 1/2 minutes or until shrimp turn pink, stirring after 2 minutes to move lesser cooked shrimp to outside. Let stand, covered, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot or chilled in shells. Makes 4 servings.

SPICY SHRIMP IN BEER

1/2 cup butter

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 cup beer

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 1/2 pounds unpeeled fresh shrimp

Combine butter and garlic in 2-quart round microwave-proof casserole. Microwave on HIGH (100% power) 1 to 2 minutes or until butter is melted. Add beer and microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 2 to 3 minutes or until boiling.

Add Worcestershire, salt, crushed red pepper, thyme, oregano, cayenne and shrimp, stirring to coat shrimp. Push shrimp to outer rim of dish, leaving center open. Cover with lid or plastic wrap, turned back slightly on 1 side, and microwave on HIGH 5 to 8 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and test done, stirring after 3 minutes. Let stand, covered, 2 to 3 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

GARLIC SHRIMP

1 teaspoon olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons dry vermouth

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 teaspoons paprika

1 pound fresh shrimp, unpeeled or peeled

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Lemon wedges

Combine olive oil and garlic in 10-inch pie plate. Microwave on HIGH (100% power) 1 to 2 minutes or until tender. Stir in vermouth, crushed red pepper and paprika. Add shrimp and turn to coat evenly. Add lemon juice. Cover with plastic wrap, turned back slightly. Microwave on HIGH 3 minutes. Stir.

Cover again and microwave on HIGH 1 to 3 minutes more, or until shrimp have turned pink. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon wedges. Makes 4 servings at 137 calories per 4 ounces.

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