Regaining Shrimp Trust

Trust is a word that perhaps would surprise you when talking about a dish made with leafy red vegetable, albeit one quite rich in beta-carotene, and some shrimp. Well , it turns out that I recently lost all trust in Shrimp. Let me explain what happened.

Recently, I picked up  a batch of frozen shrimp, the kind that is in air tight sealed packages, usually imported from the far east. I used the product to make  quick dish ,which included some baby green peas. The shrimp product seemed OK, but after cooking a sensed a faint smell of Ammonia. I tasted one, and it did not seem spoiled, but just did not taste the way I expected it to. I was worried. I did not want to feed the fan club something that was not good, or safe. A quick Google search for the terms  "Ammonia Smell Shrimp" and bingo , there it was , an explanation. It turns out if Shrimp or Lobster after cooking emits any kind of Ammonia smell after cooking, then the product had good bad. The Chicago Tribune reports on this . See for yourself

I have never had a problem with frozen shrimp. I have learned that these products are flash frozen, so generally they are fresh and safe to eat. But for the package that I had picked up, one that was not cheap at all,  must have not been handled properly and must have partially spoiled.

The dish that night went straight into the big red garbage can and I resorted to making some cous-cous with butter , to avoid a food riot.  The fan club was safe, but my trust in shrimp had taken a beating.

Well, I was able to forgive and picked up another bag, at a different market, Whole Foods , just as pricey. but for psychologically safer.  The product was great. and so was the dish that I came up with .

Shrimp Stew with Red Swiss Chard
Gamberi in Umido Con Bieta Rossa

Preparation Notes
Cook the shrimp in a bit of garlic and EVOO l, and about 1 cup of water Season with herbs  Just before the shrimp is done (which should be less than 10 minutes). Toss in some coarsely chopped leaves of fresh Red Swiss Chard.  Wilt for a 1-2 minutes extra. Season again if necessary and serve with some crusty multi-grain bread.

The  fan club , gobbled this one up. Was it redemption for the previous shrimp faux pas ?

Salute !


  1. Just if you were wondering, my Le Creuset Dutch Oven , used mostly without a lid , came in handy . Here's what the equipment looked like -


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