Crave | The Little Foodie Little Foodie: Taking on the challenge of cooking shrimp By Mariko Jackson, Special to the Star-Advertiser Oct. 23, 2018 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! COURTESY MARIKO JACKSON Shrimp verde. My daughter asks for shrimp for dinner the way other kids beg to have grilled cheese. She assumes that I can make it, easy peasy, and while I appreciate her unwavering belief in my culinary talents, the seafood aisle is one that I quickly pass in the grocery store. Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. My daughter asks for shrimp for dinner the way other kids beg to have grilled cheese. She assumes that I can make it, easy peasy, and while I appreciate her unwavering belief in my culinary talents, the seafood aisle is one that I quickly pass in the grocery store. I’ve always preferred seafood to be prepared for me. One wrong move and your salmon is dry and tough, your shrimp, veiny, and your scallops, spoiled. I have no delicate touch, and I need a wide berth for mistakes. I’d much rather have someone who knows what they’re doing cook shrimp. There’s no lack of professionally prepared crustaceans where I live. I meet tourists who ask me for restaurant recommendations on the North Shore, but they already have their answers. They only want me to talk about shrimp trucks. My daughter has tried them all and can eat a large plate by herself, a dozen or more swimming in garlic butter. She’s the real critic. Recently we took her garlic shrimp plate to the beach and she sucked, peeled and ate while her brothers played in the sand. After she finished, she sighed and said, “That was the best meal I’ve ever eaten.” I tried not to take offense. Once my pride was involved, I decided I’d better get to work. However, I can’t compete (and nor do I want to) with the buttery, garlic version that makes our area famous. I researched recipes and techniques and decided to stick to saute. I wanted a bright, strong flavor to push through that ocean taste. I bought my shrimp deveined (I decided that aspect required more technique), and I hovered over the pan as I sauteed, afraid I was going to overcook the shrimp at any second. My main clue was the color. The shrimp bloomed out and brightened to a deep pink, and a golden brown just barely touched the shell. This took a touch over 4 minutes. My advice: Don’t try to complicate the cooking. Cook shrimp separately from other main ingredients. Adding the sauce afterward helped so its color did not distract me from turning off the heat when it was time. I also appreciate that this sauce needs no cooking, only blending, and leftovers can become part of a dressing or topping for other meats (or veggies). I’d probably still lose for best meal ever, but maybe I can come in a close second, with a few extra points for creativity. SHRIMP VERDE By Mariko Jackson 3 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon avocado oil 1 pound shrimp (16-20 count size), heads removed and deveined, with shells and tails intact Salt and pepper >> Verde sauce: 1 cup Italian flat leaf parsley 1/4 cup mint 1 Anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped 2 cloves garlic 2 teaspoons anchovy paste 1 tablespoon lemon 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup avocado oil (substitute a light-tasting extra-virgin olive oil) >> To make sauce: Blend parsley, mint, pepper, garlic, anchovy paste, lemon, oregano and salt, with a few tablespoons of water. You can use a small blender jar, small food processor, or a mortar and pestle. Work in the avocado oil a little at a time until you have a bright green sauce. Set aside. >> To prepare shrimp: In skillet over medium-high, melt butter and add avocado oil. Once pan is very hot, add shrimp, turning down heat slightly. Season with salt and pepper. Quickly toss and stir shrimp until cooked, 4-5 minutes. Serve immediately with sauce. Serves 2. Approximate nutritional information, per serving (not including salt to taste): 760 calories, 65 g fat, 17 g saturated fat, 360 mg cholesterol, greater than 2,000 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 37 g protein. Mariko Jackson blogs about family and food at thelittlefoodie.com. Her column runs on the last Wednesday of the month. Nutritional analysis by Joannie Dobbs, Ph.D., C.N.S. Previous Story Hawai‘i Food & Wine Fest events arrive on Oahu Next Story Grab and Go: Taco’ako serves up Mexican fare on Auahi St.