Author's Note: A satirical look at the processes of preparing gulf coast shrimp.
Hi folks, my name is Sue Edge-eaten and I'm a caterer to many of the locals in and around the gulf coast. If you are like me, you have wondered how safe the seafood is in the gulf coast after the largest oil spill disaster in history. Well...it's not! It can kill you! However, I will present to you a popular method of preparing seafood from the gulf that may only on occasion make you violently ill. The many people reported getting sick or dying from eating shrimp from the Gulf Coast are over exaggerated and even if it were true, how could the risk compare to enjoying delicious gulf shrimp whether they smell of tar or not. By following some simple procedures, you can by pass fatality and savor the scrumptious fare of boiled or chard shrimp bodies.
I advise buying your shrimp from the wholesale Gulf Coast Shrimp Company. They give away t-shirts with an emblem of a cute little shrimp on them with the caption, "I survived the worst oil disaster in history and all I get for my troubles is to be killed and eaten by you". What a riot! They have a solid reputation for distributing gulf oil coated shrimp.
The first step involves purging the shrimp. The term purging of course refers to regurgitation and so yes, the shrimp will need to vomit many times for you over a five-day period. The standard way of sticking your finger down their throat will be cumbersome if you plan on eating a lot of them. I don't know about you, but I usually can't wait to gorge on a feast of dead shrimp and so I will use another more practical method...filling their container with Milk of Magnesia. Doing this will help you kill two birds with one stone, first by causing your future meal to vomit profusely and have excessive bowel movements into the mixture while at the same time coating their exterior in a creamy white sauce. The purpose of this is to get the petroleum oil out of their little stomachs as well as their digestive systems, circulatory systems, cardiovascular systems, organs and of course, their pink flesh, which you will hopefully be popping into your mouth within a week or so, if they are not too contaminated.
After about 30 minutes, their environment should be amply polluted with vile excrement and stomach fluids and so you must dump the purging liquid out and pour in a fresh batch to repeat the process, probably four or five times until they begin to turn a slight blue.
Afterwards, change the solution in the container by scooping out the live shrimp and placing them in a new container of fresh water where they can swim, splash and have some fun. While they are recovering from their previous private hell, take the opportunity to pick through the grass and bait fish sometimes left in their shipping containers. Keep them in a cool or shaded area until you’re ready to start cooking. Play some music to sooth their nerves. Nervous shrimp are not fun to eat. It causes them to be tough and chewy. Also, be careful not to let them sit in the same purge solution for a long time. The oxygen will begin to deplete and they will start to die. This of course would not be a good humanitarian thing to do. These little buggers have feeling too you know.
Be sure to feed them plenty of bran in case the purging experience has caused them to be constipated. No need to compound their problems.
Now it's time to give each one of your new little friends a massage. Gently pick up a shrimp and turn him or her on their back. Begin to rub their stomach and abdomen area until you see black oil pouring out of every orifice. Continue to apply this technique until all dark fluids have disappeared. Repeat on each of the shrimp, possibly naming them as you massage them to pass the time more quickly.
The next step is to do what is known as deveining. The veins often contain digested material and or sand that needs to be extracted before consuming them, so as not to leaving a gritty texture in your mouth. This is not as severe a process as it may sound. You will only be using a paring knife and ripping live veins from their bodies while they are conscious. Sometimes the shrimps pass out during the process. Be sure to wake them up. If they start to pass out, you might need to give them mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to bring them back around. In this case, blow about a quarter of an ounce of pressure into their mouths in 3-second intervals. If their eyes begin bulging, you are blowing too hard.
Now it is time for the unveiling. The most effective way to find out if your shrimp is contaminated is to hold them on their back with one hand and slit them open with a knife with the other hand. Often you will see them thrashing their little arms and legs about as you are cutting them open. Do not worry about it; they are likely trying to knock the knife out of your hand. Once they are sliced open, peal their abdomen back and peak inside to see if there is any further oil residue. If there is, toss the little fellow into a trashcan and find another victim, I mean delectable shrimp.
If they are relatively clean, twist their heads off and discard them unless you want to shellac them and use them to make jewelry.
Proceed to dump them into scalding water for several minutes and then serve their scorched torsos, nestled in a dish of mashed potatoes, dressed with garlic butter...yum-mee.
Copyright © 2010 Mark Edgemon