Produced by Brett Levine
Food Styling by Lily Plauché
Photography by Becky Stayner
If the Alabama coast brought one great taste to the new food revolution, it was Royal Reds. These rich, plump shrimp are the king and queen of these Gulf of Mexico waters. Move over, Mardi Gras because when it is time to give a crown, these crustaceans really do deserve places on the special seafood throne. What akes them so amazing? The simple answer is everything. Fished in deep waters far off the coast, these beauties have a natural saltiness, with just a hint of sweetness, that makes them great in every way you can imagine.
They’re fantastic as the foundation for shrimp kebabs, where they cook to pink perfection on the grill. They’ll also pair just as well with pasta, so think of them first when you need a foundation for that great late summer dish with a rich, Italian flair.
Finally, but just as good—maybe better—Royal Reds are perfect when you just want to dig in with them like you would with a good old-fashioned, Southern-style meal where you’ve paired these fresh beauties with seasoned pieces of corn on the cob. We don’t get more down-home, or downright ready to dig in, than we do when these Alabama Royal Reds come hot and steaming fresh to the table. You’ll know they’re done when they look like the color of a perfect Southern sunset on a Gulf Coast day.
Buttery Shrimp Spaghetti
6 tablespoons butter, divided
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 ounces spaghetti
1 large shallot, finely chopped
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
1 ½ pounds Royal Red Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
¼ cup heavy cream
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs, tossing to coat. Cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown. Remove from heat and stir in parsley.
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and crushed red pepper; cook 2 minutes or until shallots are softened. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until tomatoes begin to break down. Add shrimp and cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are done. Remove from heat. Add cooked pasta, lemon peel, and cream, tossing to combine. Top each serving evenly with breadcrumb mixture and serve immediately.
Alabama Shrimp Boil
Serves 4 to 6
3 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
2 small onions, quartered
1 lemon, halved
1 pound small potatoes
2 ears corn, each cut into four pieces
¾ pound Conecuh sausage, sliced into ½-inch pieces
1 ½ pounds large Royal Red shrimp, head-on
Pickled okra, for serving
Melted butter, for serving
Combine Old Bay seasoning, onions, lemon, and potatoes in a large pot. Add water to fill two-thirds of pot. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Add corn and sausage and cook 5 minutes. Add shrimp and turn off heat. Cover and let stand 3 minutes or until shrimp are done. Drain shrimp mixture. Serve with pickled okra and melted butter for dipping.
Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Garlic and Lemon
Serves 4 to 6
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lemon, quartered
Heat grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Combine olive oil, parsley, lemon peel, garlic, and pepper in a medium bowl. Add shrimp, tossing to coat. Thread shrimp onto skewers. Grill 2 minutes per side or until done. Add lemons to grill; grill 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly charred. Serve skewers with a squeeze of grilled lemon, and sprinkle with salt to taste.