Instant food

Winter has finally left northwest Connecticut where I am still mostly sequestering in place with my daughter Johanna and her husband Brad. The thrill of tending hearty soups and casseroles is gone, especially now that I can sit on the screened porch and read and listen to music and occasionally take Goldie for a walk. Until now it has cooled down sufficiently in the evening to make it not quite grilling weather. I am loyal to using lump charcoal and find it easier to maintain the heat when the weather is warm.

During this in between time - neither long oven bakes, nor charcoal grill - I really appreciate food that almost cooks itself. My preference is for shrimp. The local market carries 2 pound bags of frozen shrimp that claim to be ethically farmed, both environmentally and socially. They also do not contain any phosphates. All of this would be meaningless if they did not also taste good. These are white shrimp, not tiger shrimp, and come in an attractive size - approximately 15 to a pound.

I take as many as I want to cook - usually 5 to a serving - and place them in a bowl of cold water. Within 30 minutes they are ready to be cooked. So nice not to have to remember the day before to remove from freezer. I am sure you have lots of shrimp recipes but my favorite and quickest is indoor grilled shrimp

I drain and dry the shrimp and coat them with oil, either plain olive oil or one scented with orange or lemon. I then sprinkle them with my current favorite spice blend, Zaatar which is a middle eastern blend of marjoram, oregano, thyme, sumac and sesame seeds. Of course you could just as easily do oil, lemon juice and garlic.

To cook, I place on my preheated grill pan for about 2 minutes on one side and another minute or 2 on the other. Goes great with any salad or vegetable and that other almost instant food, couscous.

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