Recently, I was introduced to rock shrimp and despite the popcorn size, they turned out to be delicious…lobster flavor delicious. A sweeter meat than their cousin pink or white shrimp. Since we rarely eat out, I don’t know if you’ll find these in restaurants due to their time consuming preparations, but if you can overcome the work involved, you won’t regret the outcome.
Rock Shrimp are wild caught off the Florida Coastline in deep waters. The shells are a hard, gravel texture, hence the name “Rock” shrimp. One needs kitchen shears to cut through the tail and then of course, de-vein. But cooking them takes only 30 seconds in boiling water or less than two minutes to broil.
I’m always concerned with methods of fishing trawlers who lack environmental concerns with regards to Reefs, but thankfully we have conservationists who intercept and slow the process down in hopes of avoiding eradication of species or the destruction of valuable Reefs. Rather than repeat the story here I’ll let you read about Rock Shrimp Conservation here.
I bought a pound which provided about 22 shrimp. I seasoned them well with a dry rub of ground spices and herbs and boiled them.
Obviously with shrimp comes grits. This is low-country cuisine at best.
Place the shrimp in a colander and rinse well. Place in a large bowl and completely cover with a seasoning of choice. Ease into boiling water for no longer than 30-35 seconds. Immediately immerse into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
Remove the head, turn the tail on its back and with shears, cut the length of the tail and remove. Turn the tail back over and carefully slice open the top and remove the vein. Rinse each shrimp tail before serving.
To make grits…follow instructions which come with the package. It takes at minimum 20 minutes to cook grits.
Tip: Wash grits before cooking. Take the measured amount of grits and place in a bowl. Add water well above the grits and stir. Sediment will rise to the top. Remove by carefully pouring the excess water out of the bowl leaving the grits. Repeat a second time.