Going back to the basics always hits the spot for me. Those tried-and-true classic comfort food dishes we all know so well and grew up with. Peanut Butter ‘n Jelly and BLT Sandwiches. Pot Roast. Chicken Noodle Soup. Banana Split. You know, them kinda’ always satisfying All-American good eats.
When it comes to appetizers, one of my all-time favorites ever since I was a little kid is Shrimp Cocktail. Probably because we traveled a lot, being my mom worked pretty much her whole career and retired from Hawaiian Airlines. Make that 38 years of service for HAL to be exact.
Also equally notable, my dad began his career as a Hilo, Hawaii county police officer (and decorated marksman), then afterwards earning his MBA from the University of Hawaii, where in time becoming the Executive Director for the State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture. From there, my dad went on to serve as the Executive Manager for what was titled back in the late 70′s through 80′s and early 90′s as the Papaya Administrative Committee, a federally-funded management and mass-marketing entity representing all the Papaya farmers in the state of Hawaii.
And no matter where we were in the world promoting Hawaii’s Papayas and what not (which I suppose you could say I’m following in his footsteps with this blog), whether it be Japan, the greater part of Asia or Europe, the hotel restaurants we dined in usually had Shrimp Cocktail on the menu, which I always ordered.
What I love about shrimp cocktail is the simplicity of the dish, yet the sauce is what makes it truly special. You get that fatty-rich shellfish, almost lobster-like taste of the just-cooked-tender shrimp tail, combined with the tomato sauce-meets-horseradish-meets-sugar-meets-Worcestershire-meets-lemon-meets-chili-peppery KICK from the Cocktail dipping sauce, and BOOM! BAM! “Whoomp, there it is“.
Like Wasabi with Shoyu for Sashimi, No “scade” on the Horseradish in the Ketchup for Shrimp Cocktail for the full effect “kick”. CHOKE ‘EM! LOVE THAT.
Usually I buy the frozen U-31/40 medium size uncooked, peeled and deveined shrimp from Costco.You’re probably thinking those are too small, but I prefer them “popper” size.
To cook it, I let it thaw out overnight (very important) , then steam it in a small pot for approximately 3 minutes, or until they’re all red on the tail and white throughout the tail meat. As soon as they’re cooked through, I shock them in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process, as you don’t want overcooked shrimp, lest it’ll become rubbery. The ice water shock also preserves the vibrant color of the shrimp (or vegetables, if that’s what you were cooking).
Sometimes though I’ll buy the ones already cooked and thawed when I want to eat Shrimp Cocktail like NOW.
Sometimes I’ll also buy Shrimp Cocktail from Costco, good-to-go…
Man, that looks like a FEAST right there. Shrimp Cocktail and Ribeye Steak? Come on now! Too bad I can’t eat the steak right now.
The Cocktail Sauce that comes with Costco’s deli Shrimp Cocktail tastes like your standard store-bought Cocktail Sauce, which works for me. However I sometimes make my own Cocktail Sauce by mixing Heinz Ketchup with LOTS of bottled Horseradish (don’t use the creamy one, it doesn’t work), Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water, Honey, Brown Cane Sugar, Worcestershire Sauce, Lemon Juice and black pepper. Easy and much better, as I really kick it up with the acidity from the lemon and heat from the Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water (Watah) and fresh-cracked black.
As for nutritional value, WHFoods.com (World’s Healthiest Foods) states, “Our food ranking system qualified shrimp as an excellent source of selenium and unusually low-fat, low-calorie protein–a four ounce serving of shrimp supplies 23.7 grams of protein (that’s 47.4% of the daily value for protein) for a mere 112 calories and less than a gram of fat. Shrimp also emerged as a very good source of vitamin B12.”
Additionally noting, “Shrimp are also a good source of cardio-protective omega-3 fatty acids, noted for their anti-inflammatory effects and ability to prevent the formation of blood clots. Four ounces of shrimp provide 14.8% of your daily need for these protective fats.”
Shrimp Cocktail. Ono stuff!!!
Speaking of seafood appetizers and pupus, I picked up this tray of Smoked Ahi Poke from the Tropics Fish & Vegetable tent at the KCC Farmers Market several weeks ago…
Sample some, cuz…
Dude. Dude. DUDE!!! Brah, seriously broke da’ mout’ WINNAHZ!!! Perfect level of smoke, perfect toughness in texture, with just enough bite. Yet still having enough chew, along with a slight shoyu-sugar marinade goin’ on, permeating just deep enough, rounding it out with a kick of ginger and sesame.I actually prefer Marlin over Ahi for smoked fish, but the way Tropics does this here Smoked Ahi Poke overshadows any prejudice towards Marlin. Sshh.
This is like seriously mean, brah, MEAN. 10 Ume Musubi for Tropic’s Smoked Ahi Poke.
And what goes best with either of these two fantastic pupu delights? Why a Blue Moon with Orange slice of course!!!
P.S. Time for today’s weigh-in…
Pomai’s “Revolution 2012″ weight log**
5.05.12 – 207.0 lbs.
5.27.12 – 195.8 lbs.
6.02.12 – 194.6 lbs.
6.03.12 – 194.0 lbs.
6.09.12 – 191.4 lbs.
6.16.12 – 188.6 lbs.
6.23.12 – 189.8 lbs.
6.30.12 – 188.5 lbs.
7.05.12 – 187.5 lbs.
7.22.12 – 183.0 lbs. (BMI score = 27)
Target weight for 7.30.12 – 180 lbs.
Final target weight – 160 lbs.
**5’9″ height, male.
I have a feeling that 3 pounds to lose in just over a week is going to be really tough. Gotta’ hold back on them Blue Moons.