Shrimp cocktail is on practically every holiday menu, but many aren’t sure if they should avoid shrimp or dig in. If you’re a seafood eater and you enjoy these crustaceans, either chilled or in hot dishes, here are a few things you should know.
Low in Calories
One medium shrimp provides about 7 calories, which means a dozen add up to less than 85 calories—roughly 15 less than a 3-ounce chicken breast (about the size of a deck of cards in thickness and width). One jumbo shrimp, the type often served in shrimp cocktail, contains about 14 calories, and a teaspoon of cocktail sauce provides 5, so three jumbo shrimp, each with a teaspoon of cocktail sauce as an appetizer, adds up to less than 60 calories, about 10 less than just one pig in a blanket, and 20 less than two mini empanadas or two mini quiche.
In addition to their water content, shrimp are primarily made of protein. Three ounces of baked or broiled shrimp provides about 20 grams of protein, just a few grams less than that a 3-ounce chicken breast. Each jumbo shrimp provides about 3 grams and contains very little fat and carbohydrate.
Yes, they’re high in cholesterol, but…
There are two kinds of cholesterol. The first is called dietary cholesterol, which is the cholesterol found in foods. Only foods from animals contain cholesterol because the animals’ bodies produced it. The second kind of cholesterol is blood or serum cholesterol: this is the cholesterol inside of your body. Blood cholesterol is produced by your liver and released into your bloodstream.
Spicy Parsley Shrimp
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon caper brine
1 1/2 teaspoons cold butter
1/3 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons cold butter
salt to taste
water, if needed
Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over high heat until it just begins to smoke.
Place shrimp in an even layer on the bottom of the pan and cook for 1 minute without stirring.
Season shrimp with salt; cook and stir until shrimp begin to turn pink about 1 minute.
Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes; cook and stir 1 minute.
Stir in lemon juice, caper brine, 1 1/2 teaspoon cold butter, and half the parsley.
Cook until butter has melted, about 1 minute, then turn heat to low and stir in 1 1/2 tablespoon cold butter.
Cook and stir until all butter has melted to form a thick sauce and shrimp are pink and opaque about 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl; continue to cook butter sauce, adding water 1 teaspoon at a time if too thick, about 2 minutes.
Season with salt to taste.
Serve shrimp topped with the pan sauce.
Garnish with remaining flat-leaf parsley.