Shrimp should make for easy cooking, but it's hard to find seafood worth shelling out the money and popping in my mouth.
In theory, shrimp should be a perfect food. Quick to cook. Healthy to eat. Easy to pair with all kinds of cuisines.
In reality, I have been burned by too many shrimp deals where my meal tastes like cardboard. I tried supermarkets. I tried frozen from Trader Joe's. I already carry images of fetid shrimp farms, so I don't want to risk pesticides and a tasteless dinner.
The recent success was Today's Catch in Columbia. The small fish store in Wilde Lake village center has been my place for scallops -- or for the trimmings that they often sell for $10/pound and that can make great fish stews. But I risked shrimp two weekends ago, and it paid off.
Today's Catch shrimp were firm and sweet. I basically simmered a large can of Muir Glen tomatoes with sliced garlic and shallots. Then I stirred the peeled shrimp in the pan when the timer rang on my pot of linguine. The pasta gets drained and swirled into the sauce as the shrimp turns pink and opaque. Served up with slices of Jim Lahey's bread.
That's dinner. That's easy.
Where else do you get great seafood? Frank's Seafood in Jessup is my spot for crabs, oysters, fish and more. They are way bigger than Today's Catch, although both offer people who can answer questions and recommend how to cook their wares. Laurel Meat Market often has crab meat, shrimp that they say is wild, and scallops that they say haven't been injected. I like these places, but I remain really suspicious of seafood -- mostly because I don't know how to check anyone's claims.