When you're blindsided by an odd craving, isn't it just fantastic when you just happen to have all the necessary ingredients to make whatever it is your stomach is hollering for? Or, now that I think about it, perhaps the cravings are a direct result of subconsciously knowing you have everything onhand already. Either way, yesterday for me it was pickled shrimp.
The first time I tried pickled shrimp was on a vacation with friends to Corpus Christi, Texas. I may have been 13 and I distinctly remember my friend's stepfather commenting on how adventurous of an eater I must have been, to plop a pickled shrimp, chunk of avocado and slice of red onion on a tortilla chip after admitting to never having heard of pickled shrimp. "I'll eat anything," I remember telling him; a boastful comment I regretted uttering the next night at dinner as he caught me picking green peppers out of my fajitas.
Amounts are approximate, based on taste and heat tolerance. You will need:
1 1/2 pounds of uncooked large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
4 limes juiced (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup of pineapple juice
1/4 cup of white wine vinegar
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
1-2 jalapenos, sliced
1/2 medium red onion, cut into slivers
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped in half
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons of salt, plus more to taste
Add the cayenne, bay leaf and 2 tablespoons of salt to a large pot of water. Bring to a boil and then add the shrimp. Cook shrimp for one minute, drain and run cold water over shrimp.
In a large jar or plastic food-storage bag, add shrimp and rest of ingredients. Add 1 cup of water (or enough to cover the shrimp), sprinkle in a bit of salt, and marinate in the refrigerator overnight, shaking or turning occasionally.
Serve however you like them: with more cilantro, sour cream and avocados in a tortilla, out of the jar with a fork, or toss in a salad. If you used red onions, don't worry when the shrimp turn purple!