Sunday, January 10, 2010
Maine Shrimp reminder
Last year, I didn't discover Maine shrimp until March, near the end of the season. I wrote about using them in a Thai-style coconut milk soup.
But the Maine shrimp season actually starts in December or early January, which I suddenly remembered a few days ago as I passed the fish counter at Whole Foods and saw a large heap of plump pink Maine shrimp in front of me. Maine shrimp are cheap ($5/pound at Whole Foods, not on sale, and probably cheaper other places and definitely cheaper if you're in Maine) and tasty and vaguely local, at least if you live in New England. And in January, when there's not much else even vaguely local to be had, that counts for something. (This may be changing. There's now a new winter farmer's market in Northampton every Saturday, and yesterday, there was a special Winter fare market with farmers from all over this area held at a local high school. It was so crowded that people were practically fighting over the carrots, and by the time I got there, halfway through, everything green had already been bought up--I guess there's a pretty serious communal craving for fresh vegetables in the midst of a January freeze!)
Anyway, my inaugural Maine shrimp dish this year was risotto. I loosely followed this risotto recipe, although I made the shrimp stock more like this one posted at the Beyond Salmon blog. We ate it sitting in front of the fire, and it was a fine dinner for a freezing January night--warm and filling and tasty.
And since I now know that Maine shrimp will be around for a few more months, I'm already pondering the possibilities. The Thai soup is definitely on the agenda, but I'm planning to explore some other options as well. I'll report back when I have a winner. In the meantime, stay warm!