Shrimp is America's favorite seafood - Americans consumed 4.4 pounds of shrimp, per capita, in 2006, about 1.5 pounds more than the runner-up, canned tuna. Affordability is whatâ??s really driving shrimp sales (as it always has for canned tuna), but shrimpâ??s amazing popularity speaks to the fact that consumers are craving healthy, light foods. Just take a look at the January/February issue of Cooking Light on newsstands now. The winning recipe in a contest among the magazine's foodie readers features our ubiquitous crustacean.
More than 3,200 recipes were submitted from all corners of the country, but the winner of the third annual Cooking Light Ultimate Reader Recipe Contest was Katherine Hinrichs of West Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Hinrichs' Caribbean Shrimp Salad with Lime Vinaigrette recipe will now be clipped, saved and recreated by many of the magazine's 12 million-plus readers. (You can see the recipe by scrolling to the bottom of this page.)
Hinrichs, who splits her time between Maine and chartering tourists around the Caribbean in her family's sailboat, earned $25,000 for her shrimp recipe, which won the contest's entree category as well as the grand prize. Hinrichs donated her $5,000 category prize to Boothbay Region Land Trust, a nonprofit that protects natural resources and wildlife in the mid-coast Maine area.
The judges raved about how easy the meal is to prepare. ''We were most impressed with the fact that this is a no-cook recipe,'' one judge said, adding that it's an ideal solution for a busy weeknight. This is good for consumers who shy away from seafood because they're intimidated by the time and complexity of preparing it at home.
It's no wonder U.S. shrimp sales break records every year. Shrimp is a lean protein that can be prepared quickly in a number of ways. Shrimp has all the attributes to be the ''gateway'' seafood, a product that will encourage consumers to try other varieties as well. Now it's reaping the rewards.