As I sit to write this post I think to myself “How well do I really know things about shrimp?”
Turns out not very well!
Why? Well, as a child of 8 who had an unforgettable unpleasant experience with oysters, I’ve since found seafood literally quite fishy, meaning I typically run from it. Batter it up, fry it, and top it with some fresh squeezed lemon or tartar sauce and I’ll come running back. While crab, grilled salmon, Luby’s fried fish, lobster mac and cheese, even some ceviche are right at home in my belly, my list of “no thank yous” include shrimp cocktail, seafood salad, and the likes of anything resembling octopus and squid. Don’t even get me started about a fish served with a head and a glaring, glazed eye. N.O.
So in the end my knowledge of seafood is what I’d call a short story. Two ships that passed in the night. An un-love affair.
A Fish By Any Other Name
When I established this cooking blog I wanted to organize it identically to how Mom organized the sections in her cookbook. Despite my goal there have been recipes that break convention and this recipe is one of them; the only possible two categories this recipe would likely fit under is “appetizers” or “meats poultry and fish.” So I thought: “Check meats poultry and fish!”
Not. So. Fast.
I turned to Google and started researching to find out what, really, is a shrimp?! I came across posts that:
- Criticized shrimp as being “bottom feeders” that are high in cholesterol
- Praised shrimp for being a healthy alternative to meat and poultry
- Described shrimp as being more closely related to spiders, grasshoppers and crabs than to fish
- And one post that skewered shrimp for exacerbating climate change. Wow, really?
In the end a shrimp is factually a 10-legged crustacean. And since saying “I’m eating crustacean tonight!” sounds plain ol’ #awkward, most people just settle on referring to shrimp as seafood. So there we go … *POOF* … I just created a seafood category box at right!
Shrimping On The Barbie
Before we dive into Mom and Dad’s shrimp recipe below, let’s watch a memorable throwback with this 1980s commercial featuring Paul Hogan who is better remembered as Crocodile Dundee. The phrase “slip another shrimp on the barbie?” It came from this: * Caution: the “shrimp” on the barbie at the end of this commercial is monstrously ginormous. But maybe it’s a prawn? And is a prawn a shrimp? Oh, that’s a foodie research story best served for another day. :)
foodie tips ~
❤ Don’t watch the above video with closed captioning tuned on … unless you want a good laugh.
1 cup | salad oil
1 teaspoon | salt
3 tablespoons | parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon | dried basil leaves
2 cloves | garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon | catsup
1 teaspoon | pepper
1 tablespoon | wine vinegar
2 pounds | shrimp, shelled and deveined
ii. what to do
1. Combine the first eight ingredients above to make your marinade. Pour over the shrimp and cover. Refrigerate 2-3 hours.
2. Thread shrimp on skewers and place on the barbie. Grill 3 minutes over coals, basting with the marinade.
3. Turn and grill 5 minutes more, basting several times.
Mom said my Dad always got raves from guests for this dish. Enjoy!
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook
With over 100 Betty’s Cook Nook recipes under my foodie belt I was surprised that this is the first dish that calls for eggplant. I was also surprised that there’s a pretty healthy debate over whether eggplant is a fruit or a vegetable.
Mom loved squash, cucumber and pretty much anything fresh so without doubt eggplant is a welcomed guest at our family’s table.
My favorite part of this chunky tapenade style dish is the eggplant’s sidekick – the olive; it packs a lotta salty love that just warms the belly. Served on a chip or on the side, this savory dish gives your tongue one tasty ride.
Foodie Tips ~
♥ When I first read this recipe I was surprised to learn it was served cold. Try it cold and hot. Cold is great for summer chillin’ and hot is great for cooler months (my preference) … plus you can shave off the time for it to chill several hours. 1 … 2 … get in my belly!
♥ I had never heard of a “salad olive” before and gave up researching its origin – I think it’s basically the same thing as a green pimiento-stuffed olive. While this calls for whole salad olives, I could only find sliced salad olives at my HEB, so that’s what I used and I liked it. Want to learn more about olives? Take a spin at my well-respected foodie friends’ website at Zingerman’s.
♥ I don’t think you have to eat this app solo – experiment with it and find your “flavorite” ways to enjoy it. I ate spoonfuls of mine on a grilled chicken breast atop some pasta and found it made a tasty, chunky red sauce that really brightened up the dish.
1 medium | eggplant, peeled and diced
½ cup | green pepper, chopped
medium | onion, chopped
¾ cup | sliced mushrooms (go fresh)
2 cloves | garlic, crushed
¼ cup | extra virgin olive oil
1 can | tomato paste
¼ cup | water
2 tablespoons | wine vinegar
6-7 ounces | stuffed salad olives
1 ½ teaspoon | sugar
½ teaspoon | oregano
½ teaspoon | sugar
1 teaspoon | salt
⅛ teaspoon | fresh cracked black pepper
ii. what to do
1. Put the first six ingredients into a skillet. Cover. Cook gently, stirring occasionally.
2. Then add the remaining eight ingredients from above. Cover and cook 30 minutes.
3. Chill several hours (if you choose) then serve.
Feeds about 4-6 or more, depending on how you serve.
Here’s a scan of my Mom Betty’s original recipe!