Pan Shrimp Dinner

I could eat seafood every day. What’s better than seafood, though? (Is there anything actually better than seafood?) Being able to cook a fast-and-easy one-pan (seafood) dish, such as this Pan Shrimp Dinner recipe. While shrimp aren’t my favorite seafood, this recipe makes the shrimp tasty and the whole dish delicious. If you love shrimp, though, this is a must-try pan shrimp dinner!

The term shrimp usually refers to decapod crustaceans. Shrimp is often used synonymously with the term prawn. There is also a wide variety of non-decapod crustaceans that are also commonly called shrimp (although these species are unlike the commercial decapod shrimp that are eaten as seafood). This crustacean is widespread and abundant and can be found feeding near the seafloor on most coasts as well as in lakes and rivers. Shrimp trawling dates back to at least 1376 in England (King Edward III received a request that he ban trawling as it was a destructive new way of fishing). However, there is further evidence suggesting “shrimping” occurred off the southeastern coast of North America since as early as 600 AD. Certainly in North America Native Americans captured shrimp (and other crustaceans) in fishing weirs and traps made from branches and moss or woven nets. Shrimp are now marketed and commercialized with several issues in mind: they are sold based on their categorization of presentation, grading, color and uniformity.

While this shrimp recipe calls for the tails to be left on, I always remove my tails prior to cooking. The tail on is mainly a presentation thing, so if you want to impress someone, you can leave the tails on. What makes these shrimp so tasty are the combination of spices they’re tossed in prior to cooking: sea salt, pepper, smoked paprika and cumin. Cumin is a dried seed (sometimes bought ground) and is a member of the parsley family. It helps to add an earthy and warming feeling to food (making it a staple in certain stews and soups, as well as spiced gravies and chili). Smoked paprika is a spice made from air-dried fruits of the chili pepper family. Paprika can range from mild to hot and flavors vary from country to country. Some Spanish paprika, including pimentón de la Vera has a distinct smoky flavor and aroma. There are other additions to this recipe, such as onion and garlic as well as green bell peppers and celery. The flavor profile is layer upon layer of delicious tastes. You can also use a little garlic powder with your shrimp, when you toss them in the other spices.

While this is, technically, a one-pot dish, you do need to cook it separately before you toss it altogether. The rice should be cooked first. You don’t need to use brown rice, white rice will do just fine (use whichever rice you prefer – but if you use brown rice, you should boil it in chicken broth for added flavor). Then you cook the shrimp. Next, you sauté all of your other ingredients and add back your rice and shrimp (re-add your shrimp at the very end so that you don’t over-cook them). It may seem like a lot of work, but it’s not. This is one delicious pan shrimp dinner that you need to try!

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