Shrimp season in San Carlos is from early September to sometime in April with the best shrimp being caught early in the season. There are several ways to shop for shrimp: from vendors at the side of the road, Tony's Market, the Sunday market at Empalme or from our friends in the fishing village of El Colorado, 35 miles north up the coast from here.
The first thing you notice is how large the shrimp are, some larger than my thumb from tip to wrist. They vary in color from blue to brown. You normally buy them by the kilo (2.2 pounds) which is about 25-30 large shrimp, heads already off, but still needing to be deveined and shelled.
A kilo of shrimp in my sink Cleaned and ready to cook
Once the shrimp are cleaned I season them with salt and pepper (more than you'd think you would need), garlic and olive oil. My favorite way to cook them is my large grill pan for about 5 minutes, turning them over half way. After which, I add a splash of white wine, cover and cook on low for another 2-3 minutes.
This is my basic shrimp recipe - now they are cooked I can make all sorts of dishes, warm or cold.
I like to serve the shrimp with sauteed vegetables over rice: sliced bell peppers in a variety of colors, onions, chopped jalepeno for some spice, and fresh cilantro. With avocado and tortillas on the side makes for a lovely meal.
If, and that can be a big if, there are any shrimp leftover they are great on salads. Here are 2 different ones I like to make:
1. Baby spinach, topped with walnuts, avocado, dried cranberries and goat cheese, a little honey mustard dressing and shrimp.
2. Lettuce with tomatoes, cucumber, walnuts and feta cheese, dressing (choose your favorite!) and shrimp.
Tacos, salads, shrimp cocktail and curries - the possibilities are endless. How do you like your shrimp?