Shrimp Recipes for the Everyday Menu

By Allan Stearman

If shrimp recipes are off your radar because they seem too complex, revamp your mindset. By learning the basics of preparation, you can add shrimp recipes to your weekly menu without flinching.

A microwave can be your best friend for a simple shrimp scampi recipe that will bring comfort to your family. Treat your family to restaurant quality food at home with a shrimp pasta recipe or a grilled shrimp recipe. Grilled shrimp recipes can be quickly prepared and served once you know the tricks of preparing shrimp. Cooking with shrimp only requires you to become familiar with your ingredients.

There are a variety of sizes of shrimp including the popcorn or bay shrimp for tacos or salads, small tiger shrimp that can be purchased ready to cook, peel, and serve, medium shrimp which are the favorite for pasta, large shrimp which are the choice for shrimp cocktail, jumbo prawn for grilling, and the colossal tiger shrimp, for when you want to wow your crowd.

To ensure you have quality ingredients, learn how to shop for shrimp. Keep in mind that the larger the shrimp, the more you will pay per pound. Fresh shrimp should have semitransparent flesh, be moist, firm, and have no ammonia odor or black spots on the shell. The ration of fresh shrimp to prepared shrimp is 3 to 2, that is 1 pounds of shell on shrimp produces 1 pound of shelled shrimp.

Any connoisseur of shrimp recipes knows that the closer to the source when you buy shrimp, the better the flavor. Frozen shrimp is most common on the market and the same maxims hold true as for all frozen foods. Be sure the product is thoroughly frozen and that there is no freezer burn. Thawing is best accomplished by leaving it in the refrigerator overnight or placing under running cold water. If the shrimp you purchase is previously frozen, the flesh should be firm and with a sheen.

If you are in a big hurry, then you can find less flavorful preprocessed shrimp. Learn how to quickly peel and devein unprocessed shrimp with these easy directions for peeling each shrimp.

A shallow incision from the head end to the tail end requires a small sharp kitchen knife. The shell will then peel away to reveal what is called a sand vein, black in color. Using the sharp point of the knife, the vein can be removed and disposed of. The shrimp can easily be cut in half by placing it face down on a cutting board and slicing down the back. Rinsing the shrimp in cold water and keeping all at the same temperature gives a better result.

Shrimp recipes call for one of five general ways of preparing the shrimp. Boiling, broiling, sauting, steaming, or baking shrimp give results that are tantalizing, tasty, and full of texture. A large spectrum of flavors and visual appeal is available. The main rule to keep in mind for recipes using fresh shrimp, regardless of the method of preparation, is to never over cook the shrimp. Now go enjoy! - 29974

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Things To See And Do When Traveling To Australia's Gold Coast

By Cordelia Kennedy

Australia's Gold Coast is that area that lies on the eastern-most point of the Australian continent on the border between the Queensland and New South Wales Regions.

Fuel Your Adrenalin: The Gold Coast is well on the way to calling itself Australia's adventure capital with no end of thrill seeking activities available - think jet boating, jet-skiing, off road 4WD adventure, Zorbing, surfing lessons, bungy jumping, tiger moth joy rides, helicopter tours, go-karting, Harley Davidson jaunts, WRX rally car racing, scuba diving, Deep sea fishing, hot air ballooning, theme parks and Infinity. To name a few!

Cheer on the Local Team: The Gold Coasts population is increasing at the rate of knots and with it, its sporting power. A day at an Australian Rules football game, or rugby or basketball or local iron man contest is a great way to keep the whole family entertained. The Titans in the NRL and the Blaze in the NBL both turned two in their respective codes this season. An AFL team will join the fun by 2011 officially and Gold Coast United is the A-Leagues most colorful new addition.

Treat Yourself To A Spa Day: There is an ever growing list of high class spa centers throughout the Gold Coast. If you are looking for the pleasure of walking around, in the daylight hours, in a plush and comfortable robe and slippers, while be pampered there are many places for you to visit. Some of the notable locations are Golden Door Spa Health Spa, Main Beach and L'qua Spa.

The magnificent Gold Coast truly has something for everyone and you'll will want to return time and time again to experience it all. - 29974

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Toronto Restaurants, Find Any Type Of Food You Desire

By Adriana Noton

There is a restaurant for every taste and every pocketbook in Toronto. This is a city that offers cuisine from just about any nationality including Chinese and other Asian cuisine, Italian, Greek and local entrees. You can find Toronto Restaurants that offer elegant dining, places that serve western style steak and fast food burger establishments that give a choice of cuisine and price. If you enjoy food, then Toronto is the place to be.

The CN tower is about 114 stories above the ground in Toronto and houses an elegant restaurant called Restaurant 360. This restaurant revolves to give you a floor to ceiling view of the city. The items on the menu will cost anywhere from C$75 to C$100 but the wine list is what people come for along with the view. There are over 550 international wines on their list that can cost upwards of C$1000. Don't forget to make reservations as it is difficult to get into if you don't.

Splendito Restaurant and Truffles are two other restaurants in the same prices range. Look for Splendito in the Distillery District where you will find the menu changes with the season and has many modern Mediterranean dishes. Choose from the regular a la carte menu or try the tasting menu where you get a sampling of many different entrees. Check out this restaurants wine list and you will be well satisfied. Inside the Four Seasons' Hotel you will find the award winning Truffles. Here you will find elegant French Cuisine and a great atmosphere.

If these restaurants are a little steep for your taste you can go down a notch to some moderately priced restaurants that will cost you C$35 to C$75 per meal. A great Canadian restaurant is Canoe Restaurant and Bar where maple sugar reigns supreme. The local fruits and berries are used to make wonderful offerings and there is even the choice of venison or caribou on the menu. This restaurant is right on Toronto Harbor and the ambiance is similar to that of a forest lodge. Make sure to secure reservations because it is not open on the weekends.

Lolita's Lust in Greektown not only has an interesting name, it is also an interesting place. The menu has an interesting a delicious variety of meats and seafood.

Budget restaurants in Toronto will give you great food at a great price. Fran's in the Midtown area is a down to earth place that gives you food at a great price and a lot of it. Meatloaf is supreme here along with chicken wraps and tuna melts. It is open 24 hours and serves a huge breakfast platter at all times.

Fresh on Bloor (on Bloor Street) is an affordable health food restaurant with great tasting food. Not only does it have the great food it also features 40 different juices and some of them are very interesting.

For those who are budgeting, remember to factor in taxes. There are taxes that come along with the food in Toronto restaurants including the 8% provincial sales tax and the 10% alcohol tax. Also watch for the 5% federal goods and services tax that will all come at the end of the meal with the bill. In Toronto you can find any cuisine for any price. The above eateries are but just a few in this city of great cuisine so pick well and find the ones you like the most. - 29974

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The Development of the Live Lobster Trade

By Sherry Shantel

Close your eyes, and picture that large, mouth-watering lobster waiting on your plate for you to crack open and enjoy. You'd be hard-pressed to think of anything that sounds better. However, don't rush out for a live lobster dinner just yet. Wouldn't it be fun to learn a little bit about the critter you're craving before you indulge?

Early Native Americans were a funny bunch. They had super-easy access to lobsters, but they refused to eat them. Instead, they used them to fertilize their farm fields or as fish bait. How sad is that?

The early European settlers which graced our shores didn't eat lobster meat, either. They'd pick them up by hand to use as fertilizer or to feed to the lowest creatures of their society, slaves, indentured servants, children, and the poor. After years of this practice, indentured servants begin to protest the constant lobster diet. In fact, they went so far as having it written into their contracts that they would never have to eat lobster more than three times a week.

Until the early 19th century, people collected lobsters by hand from tide pools along the shore. The first lobster traps didn't appear until around 1850. Lobster meat was only sold in cans, and the canned meat just didn't have much flavor, so it wasn't popular with consumers.

It wasn't until our modern transportation system developed that live lobsters became sought-after luxury items. Shipped to the big cities, they quickly became expensive luxury food for the higher classes of our population.

Have you ever felt a little funny about watching a lobster resting quietly in a fish tank only minutes before he appears on your plate? Don't worry. That's been a common feeling since people began eating lobsters years ago. But if you want to experience lobster in its freshest form, this is the way it has to be done.

During my lifetime I've known family members tracing clear back to my great grandmother who was born in 1873. Even when seafood came into vogue, she never ate it. As a Victorian lady, she would never have even wanted to think about throwing something live into a pot of boiling water. After all, women in the Victorian era were sheltered from the harsh realities of life.

It's hard to believe that our ancestors didn't like the way lobsters tasted. Just think of all the good food that was wasted as fertilizer. Their palates were just very different from ours. As our society developed more sophisticated tastes, lobsters finally became the delicacies they were always destined to be. - 29974

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Where Does a Lobster Live?

By Sherry Shantel

Be it ever so humble, where does a lobster call home? Lobsters live in the coastal regions around the world. Once shunned and now cultivated for human consumption, lobsters have come to be one of the most sought-after delicacies in the world.

To see a newborn lobster, you could never imagine it growing up to look like an adult lobster. It is incredibly tiny and misshapen, and its chances of living to reach the adult stage is only 1 in a thousand. While he spends his first two weeks of life floating near the surface of the ocean, he is easy prey for any fish that comes swimming by him. If he lives as long as the fourth stage of life, he will have molted 3 times.

During the fourth stage the lobster swims very well and looks for a permanent place to live on the ocean floor. He may choose a home in a softer habitat, such as the salt marsh peat around Cape Cod, but most generally he'll choose a harder spot, such as an area with a cobble (small rocks) bottom.

Cobble is an exceptionally suitable habitat for lobsters. There are many crevices and cracks around and under the small rocks that make up the cobble which offers him places to hide and wait for his food to come to him. While many coastal regions offer rocky bottoms, Maine is ideal in that it also has just what lobsters like, clean, cold water.

The lobster moves into his new, ocean bottom home when he molts into stage five. During his first year or so he lives in a tunnel or crevice underneath the cobble where his many predators won't be able to find him. From his first year until about his fourth year, he hides in the seaweed and the kelp as he cruises around looking for food.

Adolescent lobsters have great survival instincts that keep them hidden for the first few years of their lives. If he were to swim out in the open ocean when he was still this young, he would be eaten within a matter of a few minutes. When he gets larger he will make another move to an area where there are larger rocks for him to hide in. He might also choose to live in a muddy or sandy area anywhere between the edge of the continental shelf and the shore. Wherever he lives, he will live alone, because he's not a social creature.

It's hard for a lobster to live to be very old. It has natural predators and fishermen after it no matter where it goes. Going back in history, back to a time when lobsters were plentiful and people didn't fish for them, we find records of lobsters reaching five or six feet in length.

Lobsters don't get the chance to grow as large in this era of modern fishing techniques. The biggest one on record was caught in 1977 just off the coast of Nova Scotia. It measured in at somewhere between three and four feet, and it weighed a mighty 44 pounds, 6 ounces. It was estimated that he was around 100 years old. How about that! - 29974

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Buy Live Maine Lobsters Online

By Sherry Shantel

Are you planning a trip to Maine? Be sure if you do, you will do as my friend does and always bring home some of the live Maine lobsters to enjoy long after you get home.

Maine is known for some of the best lobsters in the country. These delights are sure to become a culinary favorite, once you have sampled your first ones. They are simply delicious and succulent to the taste buds.

In order for the lobsters to be their finest quality, they must be fresh. When you bring back your own lobsters from Maine, or if you are buying them from a company online; your lobsters must remain fresh until you are ready for cooking them.

There are many places online that offer you good quality seafood at reasonable prices. One such place is the Pine Point Fisherman's Co-op that offers some fresh lobster you can eat there, or take home with you.

If you can't get to Maine and want to order lobsters for delivery, the co-op's prices are like online outlets. It is great to know that online ordering is available to you. Many companies can send your lobsters out to you overnight.

Thus, every effort is made to assure you with the quality you demand and you deserve.

Are you in the mood for some really good seafood, is going to Maine not in your line of things to do soon?

Enjoy something sweet, delicious, and succulent. Enjoy some Maine Lobsters. Have a seafood feast soon. Don't put it off; you know you are craving the taste all of Maine is talking about-Live Maine Lobsters! Enjoy eating something that is nutritious and good for your health. Buy some live Maine lobsters and eat hearty! - 29974

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Can You Cook Live Lobsters Humanely?

By Sherry Shantel

Advocates for animal rights will protest the practice of putting live lobsters into boiling water. Their concerns are based on whether or not the lobster is capable of feeling pain. They believe that there has to be a better way to cook live lobsters.

Scientists have searched for information regarding the amount of pain a lobster is capable of feeling. Lobster lovers everywhere may be surprised at what they found.

A lobster has a brain about the same size as a grasshopper has which is pretty minute for a larger animal like a lobster. Lobsters brains are lacking in the complexity human brains have which means a lobster is unable to think.

There's no way a lobster can have a brain like that and have the ability to think or feel like we do. Researchers have concurred that the practice of cooking live lobsters by steaming and boiling and grilling are not inhumane.

Steaming a lobster starts with a four to five gallon pot containing two inches of seawater or salted water and containing a steaming rack being brought to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the pot is up to temperature, add the lobsters one at a time. Put the lid on the pot and start your timer. It takes about 10 minutes to cook one pound of lobster and around an hour for six to eight pounds. Halfway through the cooking time, rearrange the lobsters in the pot.

For every 1 to 2 pounds of lobster you want to boil, add three quarts of water to your large pot. Calculate the total number of gallons of water in the pot, and add one quarter cup of salt for each gallon. Heat the water to a rolling boil and add the lobsters one at a time. It will take about 8 minutes to boil one pound of lobster. Six to eight pounds will take 50 minutes to an hour. Halfway through the cooking time, stir the lobsters.

Grilling lobsters starts the same way boiling them does by cooking them in boiling water for about five minutes. Remove them from the hot water immediately and plunge them into a cold water bath so that they won't continue to cook. Take each well-drained lobster and place it on its back on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, split each lobster down the middle and cut out the black vein in the tail and the sand sac by the head. Baste the lobsters with melted butter or oil and place them flesh-side down on the grill. Cook them for five to six minutes on that side before turning them over. Baste them again and continue cooking for another four or five minutes.

Although there are still people who spend time advocating humane treatment for lobsters, most are willing to accept the scientific data which says they do not suffer. The only way you can enjoy the taste of truly fresh lobster meat is by steaming, boiling or grilling it. The purchase of live lobsters isn't limited to grocery stores and restaurants any more, either. Online seafood shops will deliver the very freshest lobsters overnight to your home. - 29974

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