James Peterson's Books, Blog, and Photographs

If you look on plates and in bowls from Tokyo to Tijuana, chances are you'll see a common ingredient, shrimp. Shrimp seem to end up in dishes all around the world, and for good reason: they're simple and quick to prepare, pair well with virtually anything, taste great, and are even good for you. In Simply Shrimp, award-winning author and teacher James Peterson presents 80 recipes for this most versatile of shellfish in what has become his signature style--clear instructions supplemented by his own informative photographs.

Here is a comprehensive guide to identifying, purchasing, and serving up shrimp, with recipes organized by the myriad ways shrimp can be prepared--including sauteing, grilling, frying, poaching, and baking. Shrimp are featured in such diverse dishes as Thai Shrimp Curry; Shrimp Ravioli; Barbecued Shrimp with Smoky Tomato Sauce; Tropical Fruit, Avocado, and Grilled Shrimp Salad; Shrimp Teriyaki; and Shrimp Quesadillas. Peterson also includes his favorite recipes for such classics as Shrimp Cocktail, Shrimp and Bacon Hors d'oeuvres, and Fried Shrimp with Crispy Batter. Informative and varied, this book is the perfect companion in any worldly cook's kitchen.

Shrimp Soup with Aioli

Shrimp and Bacon Hors d'Oeuvres

Makes 8 hors d'oeuvre servings (16 Shrimp)

Long an American cliche, these little hors d'oeuvres are so delicious with cocktails that we all need to be reminded of them. The trick is to use wild Gulf shrimp or, if you're using farmed shrimp, to brine them by soaking them in cold salted water (1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup sugar in 2 cups water) for an hour. The crunch is important. A second factor essential to success is that the bacon be sliced very thin--you should slice 3/4 of a pound of bacon into 16 slices--so that it cooks and gets crispy before you overcook the shrimp. This can be a problem if you have access only to presliced bacon, but the recipe is still worth doing. If you can find slab bacon, chill it in the freezer until it's very firm and then slice it as thinly as you can. The other trick is to precook the bacon slightly to get it started. If you like a little heat, be sure to include a minced chile or two.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the bacon slices on a plate in the microwave for a minute on high until the bacon renders most of its fat but is still pliable. The goal is to cook the bacon as much as possible without making it brittle. Place a pinch of chopped chile on each bacon slice. Wrap a bacon slice around the center of each shrimp and hold the bacon in place with a toothpick. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Shrimp and Tomato Salad