AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Get 'Em While They're Cold! DATE: 3/13/2009 07:56:00 AM ----- BODY:

When my friend Paul opened his last restaurant, he called on all his friends to help on the first night of service. The usual hectic-ness prevailed with the added stress that the gas-services had been interrupted for several hours. Thankfully, his signature dish - Shrimp Shrimp, Cha Cha Cha - required no stove-top cooking. The Maine shrimp he used were so small, they cooked in 30 seconds from the hot water out of the tap!

Maine shrimp, bright pink and cheery, appear in the supermarkets and on menus in New England when the weather is dreariest -- the dead of winter. These small creatures, about 60 in a pound, have a creamy sweet texture. In sushi bars, you may see them as "ama-ebi." With a rif on the Japanese ama-ebi, I serve them cold and raw, tossed with cucumbers, scallions and ponzu sauce.

The season ends on March 31, so get them while they're cold!

Ponzu Sauce
(adapted from David Rosengarten's recipe in the Dean and Deluca Cookbook)
1 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup citrus juice - a combination of lemon, lime and orange
3 tablespoons mirin
1/4 cup bonito flakes
1 - 3 inch square piece of kombu
1/3 cup rice vinegar

Mix everything together. Let sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Strain and store in the refrigerator for as long as you like. Use within 2 months.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Anonymous DATE:3/13/2009 07:01:00 PM Julia,
It isn't clear to me whether the shells are meant to be eaten, or peeled. If the shrimp are so small, then .... ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:3/14/2009 09:15:00 AM Anon, I remove the shells ... which is rather easy -- they slide right off. They are edible, but palatability is debatable. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) DATE:3/15/2009 03:07:00 PM Homemade ponzu sauce is great -- it lets you control the amount of citrus, which can be overpowering sometimes in the commercial product. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Heather DATE:3/15/2009 08:12:00 PM yum! i've just started liking shrimp and am looking for more recipes to experiment with. looks delicious!! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Daniel DATE:3/16/2009 02:43:00 PM Thank goodness sometimes the best foods come at those dreariest times of year, right?

Looks absolutely delicious.

Casual Kitchen ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger melissa DATE:3/16/2009 10:44:00 PM Mmmm ponzu. Thanks for the easy recipe that I'm sure is right on. Great idea to add the seasonal shrimp to it. I agree with your assessment about the shells and I personally don't find them particularly palatable. ----- --------