Arrogant? Me? Well, on the topic of cooking shellfish — in particular shrimp and lobster — why yes, I am. But not without good reason. I think I do a rather good job of it, mostly as a result of screwing it up often enough that I have a large sample on which to base my technique.
The recipe for boiled shrimp is obviously simple, perhaps too simple for most people to give it much thought. And that would be correct, if most people understood that shellfish overcooks very, very quickly. And, it is deceptive, because it doesn’t look any different when it is perfectly cooked compared to so overcooked that you could use it instead of super-balls.
So what’s my technique? Shell the shrimp ( I usually use large shrimp: about 20/lb.), boil them in plenty of lightly salted water for two minutes, then remove and plunge into an ice bath until they are cool. Remove, drain or blot dry, then serve. See? Easy! But that “two minutes” is vitally important, because the shrimp taste pretty good after five minutes, just not as good as they can be. And they were so good a few nights ago that we ate them with just a touch of fresh cocktail sauce, which I make mostly because the commercial stuff doesn’t have nearly enough horseradish or, for that matter, flavor.