Many, many, many years ago, on the side of Jefferson-Davis Highway, there was a ramshackle place that served up the best steamed shrimp to go. They sold crabs, too, but the shrimp were what had my family going back week after week. Years would pass and I'd buy steamed shrimp from the seafood counter at the grocery, but I'd still remember that place on the side of the road, even though the family that owned it would come to have several more locations and a riverfront restaurant. The first summer my husband and I were married, we road-tripped to Key West on vacation, celebrating the end of my time of active duty service in the Navy. We stayed in a fabulous place that recommended the Tuesday Night Sunset Shrimp Spectacular. For $5, you were served steamed shrimp, corn-on-the-cob, and cole slaw, and ate standing up. But the sunset from the pier, steel drum bands, and street performers made the ambiance priceless. We "splurged" and bought a couple of $5 margaritas and later a $10 bucket of Corona long-necks. When my husband teased me about having champagne taste, I remind him that that $30 meal is in my top five best dinner dates! Nostalgia aside, I saw a steamer basket in the kitchen gadget aisle a while ago and decided that this was the year I started steaming my own shrimp...and loved all the wonderful memories that came flooding back with the first bite!
2 12-ounce bottles Corona
2 pounds large shrimp, deveined, but unpeeled, with tails on
1/4 - 1/3 cup Old Bay (more or less to taste)
Cocktail sauce, for dipping.
Pour the beer in the bottom of a large, heavy-bottomed pot with tight-fitting lid (I used my soup pot). Place steamer basket in the bottom of your pot. Rinse shrimp and toss with Old Bay according to preference. Place shrimp in steamer basket and arrange in an even layer. Cover the pot and raise heat to medium-high. Keep an eye on the shrimp and toss a few times. Using your own judgement, you may choose to raise the temperature to high for the last few minutes of steaming. Shrimp is done when it's bright pink and fragrant.
Serve hot, with cocktail sauce and extra napkins to clean the Old Bay off your fingers!
Serves 2-4, depending on your appetite!