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Does everyone do this??

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I just came across another article....lover of knowledge and learning that I am :) , and wondered if everyone does this. If you have do you add anything else to the brine in order to infuse flavor into the shrimp? How well does this work for you? Do you prefer to do something other than brine your shrimp? Please share :) .

A New Way to Prepare Shrimp
Brining before cooking dramatically improves taste and texture.


Problem: Defrosting frozen shrimp at room temperature results in less flavorful shellfish with a mealy texture__but it is faster than defrosting in the refrigerator.

Goal: Because we prefer to buy frozen shrimp rather than fresh for its longevity and easy access (when you want some, just open the freezer door), we wanted to find a way to retain the flavor and texture of the shrimp without spending a full day defrosting. We also wanted a foolproof method for cooking shrimp quickly, either on the grill or in a sauté pan.

Solution: Defrost the shrimp in a brine made with cold water and salt to infuse flavor and prevent liquid loss (which leads to poor texture). Keep the shell on during brining and cooking to protect the delicate shrimp from the intense heat and to keep it moist and tender.


MASTER RECIPE FOR BRINED SHRIMP

I tried brining shrimp in literally dozens of combinations__with varying amounts of salt, added sugar, and different lengths of time. Almost regardless of the solution and technique, the shrimp were improved by the treatment. Some combinations, however, resulted in overly salty shrimp, some minimized the effect of the brining, and some took longer than they needed to. In the end, I settled on soaking the shrimp in a fairly strong salt solution for about forty-five minutes; if you´re in a rush, you can soak it in a 50 percent stronger solution for twenty to twenty-five minutes; the difference in taste is almost nil.

2 cups kosher salt
2 pounds frozen shrimp

Pour 2 cups boiling water in large bowl; add salt and stir until almost dissolved. Add 3 1/2 quarts cold water (along with some ice if ambient temperature is over 70 degrees); stir until salt completely dissolves. Add shrimp and let stand about 45 minutes. Drain and rinse thoroughly under cold running water; proceed with your recipe or one of the two that follow.

July, 1994
Original article and recipes by Mark Bittman
Article Courtesy of CooksIllustrated


Jodi
Jodi


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post #2 of 20
Personally I don't agree with it, but that's me and shrimp. I think you're sacrificing flavor for texture and even that's suspect. If I was going o do anything like this I would use Old Bay seasoning. You get the salt effect plus nothing tastes better with, well ****, anything!!! than Old Bay! Even on a Ritz:bounce:
I know that the chinese oft times toss baking soda into the shrimp water for firming up the shrimp and giving it a snap.

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post #3 of 20
Zataran's is the boil of choice here.
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post #4 of 20
I know everybody is hot for brining food, but I've been edging closer to a rant :mad: about how much salt we are consuming. Why??? It's getting so it's very difficult to find natural pork anymore, as they're stocking stuff that's "marinated" (same as brined, no?) in a salty solution for tenderness. It's tender all right, but it's so salty I can't eat it - even if I don't add salt in any form.

I guess I'll leave the brining to others. End of rant! :D
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post #5 of 20
I tend to agree with chrose & Mezzaluna.

Most shrimp are flash frozen on the shrimp boats to ensure
a good product.

Anytime you can keep a delicate product like shrimp as close to a natural state,the better off you are IMO.
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post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Ok......so brining is looking like a bad idea. Then what do you do? Do you just defrost under cold running water??

Jodi

Edit: And what about roasts? Ok...(so I still watch the Food Network :rolleyes: ) I saw the guy from Food 911 brine the roast before searing it, deglazing and sticking it in the oven. Is brining here a no no? How do you keep your roast from being dry?
Jodi


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Jodi


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post #7 of 20

Brining a no-no? NO NO.

I always brine pork before roasting it. I do not have a set recipe. I just use kosher salt, sugar or brown sugar, and asmall amount of acid. (citrus, vinegar whatever. Sometimes I'll throw in a little vanilla or almond extract. and some peppercorns. I look for approx half again more salty than sweet to my taste. Than let set submerged in brine overnight or so than roast toue favorite way. I sprinkle red hawaiian mineral salt on mine and roast to between 130-135. Remember that the temp will continue rising while it rests. Magnifique. As for shrimp, try it!!! I've never done it, but there is no real reason. I just never thought of it. Oh, one other thing. I mix my brine with hot water until it is pretty concentrated and then add ice to make up the difference in water. NEVER put pork in hot or even luke warm brine and then try to refrigerate. It probably won't hurt you but why risk it?
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post #8 of 20
What we do when we want to defrost shrimp is - take the block of shrimp out of the freezer, stick it in a metal bowl, put it in the sink and trickle ice cold tap water on it. Works every time and has no detrimental effect on the shrimp texture.

As a rule, I ignore every syllable written by Mark Bittman. I made the mistake of purchasing his book How To Cook Everything and not one single recipe ever turned out. We are saving the book in the trunk of my car to burn in our fireplace when we move.

As for adding flavor to brine - why not try infusing the brine with shrimp or crab boil? I think that would lend great flavor.
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post #9 of 20
On the topic of pork brining. I don't brine pork anymore now that I'm on a sodium restricted diet. I inject. I bought a "Cajun Injector" at an outdoors store. I make my marinades. Let them stand for the flavors to develop from the spices and herb, strain, some, returning the solids to the marinade and inject strained marinade into the pork every few inches. Then I baste with the remaining clean marinade. The added oil and moisture in the roast/pork keeps it moist.

As for shrimp, I've always done it Chiff's way. When I cook them, I do it this way. You'll have to scroll down to see the Creole Shrimp Boil. Her shimp boil seasoning makes a great shrimp even without the rest of the edibles in the Creole dish.

I prefer a mildly brined chicken or turkey.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #10 of 20
I do brine shrimp, but only for frozen shrimp that's to be grilled or dry-cooked. I make up a salt and water solution, let it cool and add shrimp for 30 minutes. I just find that it keeps the shrimp from drying out on the grill and the texture has a little more of the snap that you get when you have fresh shrimp. The brining also helps when you have a bland batch of frozen shrimp.
post #11 of 20
I'm with you, chrose: OLD BAY RULES!!!! :bounce: It was one of my first adventures with cayenne and I was instantly hooked. I love it on fish, of course, but also on vegetables, pork, chicken and beef. It's great on cottage cheese and I even sprinkle it on mild cheeses when snacking.
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post #12 of 20
I am a huge proponent of brining fowl. Particularly, I brine whole, fresh turkies and then sloooooow roast over wood. There is a new flavor dimension that comes about and the texture is an added layer of flavor, to boot. My brine generally consists of a sink full of ice cold water, ice cubes (hey, it's still an 'at risk' food!), salt, granulated sugar & white wine. I let the bird swim for a few hours and then roast it, generally vertically on a mound of bricks above the wood.
Massive salt consumption is disturbing. However, like anything, moderation is key. Except for Old Bay... down here 'round these parts, O' Bay is a way of life. Nothing like a newspaper-draped table covered with freshly steamed Maryland (pronounced Mer'lin) Blue Crabs stinkin' of O' Bay, yes'sir!

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post #13 of 20
I do brine frozen shrimp, as it does seem to give them that 'snap' back, as Risa said.

And just a reminder for those of you concerned about salt intake - Kosher salt has only about 1/3 of the sodium content that regular 'Morton's' salt has. So while it may seem that you're using waaaay too much for a brining solution, the actual sodium content if using Kosher salt is much less. That's my rationalization, anyway! :D
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post #14 of 20
I must disagree with the "Kosher salt has less sodium" thesis. Kosher salt has exactly as much sodium as table salt or (for that matter) pickling salt for the same weight . The only break you get is that American recipes are by volume and thus you are actually using less salt when you substitute Kosher for table salt.
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post #15 of 20
Sodium chloride is sodium chloride is sodium chloride no matter how you label the package. Generally Kosher salt, at least the one I use, has no added iodide unlike typical table salt.

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post #16 of 20
I could have sworn Cooks Illustrated just had an article about different kinds of salt, but unfortunately all my books and magazines are packed and on their way to Massachusetts, and the website doesn't have the most recent issue yet.
Does anyone know what I'm talking about and have the magazine handy?
post #17 of 20
Pure table salt is sodium chloride. Other salts may either have additives or other ingredients occurring naturally alongside the salt itself.

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post #18 of 20
Here's the facts:

table salt, a la 'Morton's' - 2400 mg. of sodium per tsp.

Kosher salt - 1120 mg. of sodium per tsp.

Okay, so it's not a third, it's more like a half! Because the crystals in Kosher salt are bigger, the volume is less, thus less sodium per measure. And because the taste is so 'clean', I find I can use much less Kosher salt.
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post #19 of 20
KateW, Yes CI did just have an article on different types of salt; unfortunately they didn't list the sodium contents of each kind; only the other mineral counts!
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post #20 of 20
Doh! I just found my magazine. I overpacked some boxes and ended up taking out some magazines. You're right though, it doesn't talk about what we're discussing. :/
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