Don’t Peel

I am a very fast eater.

I know it is bad. I know I should slow down, but my natural eating style is large bites and keep it moving until I am done. This style of eating could cause heartburn (not in me though) and the generation of excess weight as by the time your stomach can signal you are no longer hungry, you’ve overeaten. This is my issue.

There are some things that I do in cooking that I find aid my fast eating. One of those has to do with shrimp. I peel the shrimp before I cook them. Grilled…fried…boiled…it doesn’t matter. I like peeled shrimp in my dish so when I go to eat it, I don’t have to stop and peel each one.

Not only is this process bad for my waistline, it is bad for the shrimp. The shell helps the shrimp retain moisture during cooking and the removal may make it “rubbery”. Still, my nature takes over and shells the shrimp.

This time I fought it. After cleaning the shrimp, I refrained from pulling at that shell. I thought about it, but held back.

Photo Dec 22, 5 49 24 PM

I’m glad I did. The shrimp tasted great and the process of stopping and using my hands in this dish really made me feel like I was sitting out on the bayou at a picnic table having a quick dinner.

This is such a beautiful looking dish with the read and pink from the shrimp and the bright yellow from the corn. I added some Cajun seasoning and hot sauce as a finisher.

Photo Dec 22, 3 41 53 PM

Mostly fresh ingredients.

Photo Dec 22, 5 38 10 PM

Throw it all in the pot.

Photo Dec 22, 5 49 13 PM


Shrimp Boil

Prep Time: 0 hours 15 minutes | Cook Time: 0 hours 25 minutes | Makes: 4 servings | Difficulty: Easy


  • 2 lemons, halved, plus wedges for serving
  • 1/2 cup Old Bay Seasoning
  • 8 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 large red onion, quartered
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 pound baby red potatoes
  • 4 ears corn, husked and snapped in half
  • 1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Hot sauce, for serving (optional)


Fill a large pot with 4 quarts of water. Squeeze the lemon juice into the water and add the squeezed lemon halves. Add the Old Bay, garlic and onion. Tie the thyme sprigs together with kitchen twine and add to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook about 5 minutes.Add the potatoes to the pot and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Add the corn and cook 5 more minutes.Meanwhile, slice along the back of each shrimp through the shells; remove the veins and rinse the shrimp. Add to the pot, cover and cook until the shrimp curl and are just opaque, 2 to 3 minutes.Transfer the shrimp and vegetables with a slotted spoon or skimmer to a large bowl. Add the butter and about 1 cup broth to the bowl and toss until the butter is melted. Transfer the shrimp and vegetables to a platter. Serve with the remaining broth, lemon wedges and hot sauce, if desired.

Per serving: Calories 379; Fat 10 g (Saturated 5 g); Cholesterol 225 mg; Sodium 735 mg; Carbohydrate 41 g; Fiber 9 g; Protein 30 g


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Cajun, Lunch2, Recipes, Seafood

Author:The Ranting Chef

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15 Comments on “Don’t Peel”

  1. April 21, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    I’m the same! I don’t like to take the time to peel once we’re digging in. But the leftover skin is great for making broth! Fast eater huh? I usually score people on a scale of 1-10 speed-wise. I assume you’re an 11? 😉


  2. April 21, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    This is almost identical to the shrimp boil I made last summer. Thanks for reminding me that I’m overdue for another one!


  3. April 21, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    I was at a group function where this was served on a picnic table directly onto brown paper – absolutely delicious and yes, messy to eat!


  4. April 21, 2013 at 11:18 am #

    I’ve also heard people around here (Georgia) call this a low-country boil. Though maybe that traditionally has some kind of sausage, as well?


  5. April 21, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    me too. i wanna hurry up and fill the belly and move on to other tasks, but i love love food so dont understand why i rush the process when i could savor every bite. 🙂


  6. April 21, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    I am a fast eater too and when my mom makes shrimp with the shells on I just eat them too. Good roughage!


  7. April 21, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Added to my list of dinner meals this week,


  8. April 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    By the time I have made my plate to eat my hubby has finished his lol…I am a slow eater by nature. I also have the tendency to peel unless I am having a lazy day…nice to know why not to peel. Thank you for sharing.


  9. April 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

    The shell also leaves a greater taste to your dish and the shrimp itself. 🙂


  10. April 21, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    Looks yummy! We usually cook the shrimp in their shells too, and only peel them (or rather, Hubby peels them for me) at the table when we eat.


  11. April 22, 2013 at 4:28 am #

    >I refrained from pulling at that shell.
    > The shrimp tasted great

    I can’t remember where I have read the reason for this. Google did not help when I eyeballed a few options now for ‘Benefits of cooking shrimp with shell on’.

    Anyway, I had read that there’s a flavourful layer of “fat” (I don’t think that was the word, but it was a fat-related term) just beneath the shell. That layer gets ripped off with the shell when, well, shelled. But leave it be and …. do I really have to tell you what stuff cooked in fat tastes like? 🙂



  12. nergizd
    April 22, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    This is great! Thanks for the tips-i’m also a guilty fast eater 😦


  13. April 23, 2013 at 10:15 am #

    I’m the same way! I prefer to eat quickly and get back to what I was doing beforehand. It doesn’t help that I grew up with a brother who would take food right off your plate if you didn’t finish before he did. No matter how much I try to slow down, I’m still always left waiting for everyone else at the table. 😛


  14. April 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    ha ha that is so funny. I know what you mean though! I love eating crab legs but if you are hungry it seems like it takes forever to eat! lol It is probably good for us though 🙂



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