What can I say except “Lucy, you got some ‘splaining to do.” National Washington State Day and Mexican Food? Really? Yes, really.
First, let’s start with the whole idea of shrimp as the main ingredient in the south-of-the-border dish to honor Washington State. Is there shrimp fishing in Washington? The fact that I had to look it up shows you how limited my shrimp knowledge is. I thought maybe shrimp were warm water creatures. Turns out shrimp are everywhere. Deep waters, shallow waters, warm waters, cold waters. Shrimp can even live in fresh water. Unlike crabs and lobsters with strong walking legs, shrimp have tiny legs used for perching. So you can go shrimp fishing in Washington State, with a limit of 25 pounds a day. The Puget Sound even hosts a Sport Shrimp Season, in case that’s something you might be interested in.
So we are good on the idea of serving shrimp to celebrate Washington State Day. And that’s good because as it turns out today is also Nation Shrimp Day. So now we’re clean on the shrimp presentation, but why Mexican?
Washington State is an ag state. Like all ag states, it attracts migrant and seasonal farm workers with the cultivation and harvest of Washington’s crops each year. It’s estimated that as many as 187,000 seasonal workers follow the crops throughout the state. It makes sense that the majority of the migrant workers have roots in Mexico. So why not celebrate Washington and those who toil the land?
Happy Washington State Day. Happy National Shrimp Day. Happy Wednesday. Life is as good as you make it.
Shrimp Encinitas over Rice
1 lb (21-25 count) Shrimp with tails, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon Dried Marjoram
1 teaspoon Garlic Flakes
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper or to taste
1/4 teaspoon cracked Black Pepper
1-1/2 cups White Rice
2 cups Water
2 tablespoons Butter
1/4 cup White Wine
Cilantro for garnish, optional
Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails attached. Chill until ready to season. Whisk together in a large bowl all the spices. Add prepared shrimp, toss to coat well in the seasonings.
While the shrimp chill, place rice in a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add cold water, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, let simmer for 15 minutes or until the liquid as been absorbed and the rice is tender. Keep warm until ready to use.
When the rice is ready, melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté the shrimp until pink, about 5 minutes. Add the wine; continue to cook, tossing until the shrimp until completely cooked through, about 2 minutes more.
Mound rice in individual bowls. Top with shrimp, garnish with cilantro and enjoy.
Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord