Easy Weeknight Shrimp Recipe
There are simply never enough simple weeknight dinner sautés. The kind of recipe or meal where you get out that skillet, and heat up some oil, start with some onions and then start throwing things in.
This dish was created in just such a way — I had a pound of shrimp that I needed to cook that day, and I had some onions (which we should all always have!), some fennel, and some broccolini. Plus corn kernels in the freezer, always.
Broccolini is related to broccoli with a very similar though milder and ever so slightly sweeter flavor, but the stalks are longer and slimmer and the heads are much smaller. It’s a cross between regular old broccoli that we see in markets, and a type of Chinese broccoli called gai lan or jai lan. You can absolutely use chopped regular broccoli in place of the broccolini if that’s what easier to get hold of.
About Shrimp Sizes:
According to many sources, size names like “jumbo” or “extra large” aren’t standardized, so they don’t mean a whole lot when it comes to shrimp size. Instead, look to the “count” number on the label. Shrimp is usually sold by the number needed to make one pound, so the lower the count, the bigger the shrimp.
If you see “21-25 count” on the label, that is a pretty standard size, with 21 to 25 shrimp of that size equaling a pound. This shrimp size is larger than “31-35 count”, for instance, which as stands to reason would contain 31 to 35 shrimp per pound. The lower the count number, the bigger the shrimp. I have seen shrimp sold that are so huge there are only 4 to a pound. ‘
To be sure you’re getting the size you want, order by the count (or number) per pound. Choose the count that’s recommended for the dish you’re making and remember they don’t take long to cook so don’t overcook them. You can swap around with the sizes, just know that larger shrimp take a bit longer to cook.
Fresh Shrimp vs. Frozen
Most “fresh” shrimp sold in supermarkets in the United States have been shipped frozen and then thawed for the fish counter. That means that the shrimp you find in the freezer aisle is exactly the same as what’s presented as “fresh” as the fish counter—it just hasn’t been sitting around on a bed of ice all day.
Unless you know for sure that your fish counter shrimp is really, truly fresh from the ocean, the frozen variety may be in fact probably a bit fresher. And you can take it home and keep it frozen just until you’re ready to use it so you’re sure it’s as “fresh” as possible.
How to Thaw Frozen Shrimp:
To thaw frozen shrimp, put the sealed package it in the refrigerator, covered, for about a day to defrost. Place the package or bag that the shrimp are in in a shallow bowl to catch any juices that might leak out. You can also take the shrimp from the packaging and place them in a colander and run cool water over them to speed the thawing.
Sauteed Shrimp with Vegetables: This dish is bursting with color and flavor, and easy enough to make on a weeknight.Tweet This
How to Make Sauteed Shrimp with Vegetables and Crispy Prosciutto
Chop the prosciutto into roughly 1-inch pieces and brown them over medium heat in a large skillet until crispy. In the same skillet heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and sear for 1 to 2 minutes on each side until the shrimp turn pink, but are not cooked all the way through. Remove them to a separate plate.
Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes until starting to soften.
Add the broccolini or broccoli and sauté for 7 minutes until the broccolini starts to soften. Add the corn and sauté for another two minutes.
Then add the shrimp and broth, cover, and continue to cook until the shrimp is cooked through, about 2 minutes.
Uncover, and allow any remaining liquid to evaporate while you stir in half the crispy prosciutto and half the zest.
Turn the shrimp and vegetable mixture into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining prosciutto and lemon zest. Serve hot.
Shrimp and Vegetables Over Pasta
If you want to serve this dish of pasta or rice and want a saucier dish, just up the amount of broth to 1 cup and don’t let the liquid evaporate. Serve with over hot pasta, rice, or another starch of your choice.
What to Serve with Sauteed Shrimp with Vegetables:
This meal needs no sides, since the protein and the vegetables are built right in, but a starch would be nice as a base for the saute.
Other Shrimp Recipes:
- Couscous Salad with Shrimp, Roasted Tomatoes and Pesto Dressing
- Shrimp and Corn Salad with Basil Dressing
- Asian Stir Fried Shrimp and Rice Noodles
- Shrimp, Sugar Snap Pea and Scallion Stir Fry with Miso Sauce
- Casserole of Shrimp and Hearts of Palm (Camarões com Palmito)
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Sauteed Shrimp with Vegetables
- 4 thin slices prosciutto
- 2 tablespoons olive oil , divided
- 1 pound extra large shrimp (31-35 count) , peeled and deveined
- 1 red onion , halved and thinly sliced
- 4 cups roughly chopped broccolini or broccoli
- 1 jalapeno pepper , seeded and minced
- 1 cup corn kernels , fresh frozen or canned and drained
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- ½ cup less-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- Chop the prosciutto into roughly 1-inch pieces. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the prosciutto, spreading it out somewhat evenly over the bottom of the pan. Cook, turning the pieces every minute or so with tongs, preferably, until the prosciutto is crisp, about 4 minutes in all, then remove to a paper towel lined plate.
- In the same skillet heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and sear for 1 to 2 minutes on each side until the shrimp turn pink, but are not cooked all the way through. Remove them to a separate plate.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes until starting to soften.
- Add the broccolini or broccoli and sauté for 5 minutes until the broccolini starts to soften. Add the jalapeno and corn, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for another two minutes. Then add the shrimp and broths, cover, and cook until the shrimp is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove the lid, add half the crispy prosciutto and half the zest and stir to distribute it amidst the shrimp mixture.
- Turn the shrimp and vegetable mixture into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining prosciutto and lemon zest. Serve hot.
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