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GULF SHRIMP SEASON HAS ARRIVED

Jul 7, 2014

TAMPA, FLORIDA – July 2, 2014 – Just in time for summer grilling and entertaining, the iconic Gulf shrimp season has officially arrived. From grilled to boiled to fried recipes, the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition (www.eatgulfseafood.com) predicts that Gulf shrimp fans can expect a plentiful supply this year as a result of extended growth periods. Extending growth periods is a common practice among the five Gulf States to ensure adequate supply.

“In our samples [that we collected], the abundances look better than the last couple of years,” said Chris Blankenship, Director of the Marine Resources Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Program Administrator of the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission. “We opened more waters mid-June with confidence that Gulf coastal harvests will be stronger and more bountiful due to the extended growth period.”

Long-adored for their exceptional and versatile flavor, there are five types of Gulf shrimp that can be found in the Gulf of Mexico waters.

  • Brown shrimp represents the majority of shrimp caught in the Gulf of Mexico and can be found throughout all five Gulf States year round, with peak season from May through September.
  • White shrimp is prized for its large size, tender texture and mild flavor. It’s great for shrimp boils, barbecue shrimp as well as other preparations where it can soak in the flavors of the dish allowing its texture to stand out. Peak season for white shrimp lasts from May through November.
  • Pink shrimp is tender and sweet, and make up the majority of Florida’s wild-caught shrimp. It’s the largest Gulf shrimp species. Its peak season is from January through June.
  • Rock shrimp is a deep-water cousin of the wild pink, brown and white shrimp. It’s named for its tough, rock-hard shell, which resembles a miniature lobster tail. Rock shrimp is most prevalent between July and November, peaking in September.
  • Royal red shrimp is unique for its deep red color and soft, delicate texture. It is harvested 40-60 miles off the Florida shore, which makes harvesting quantities limited. Peak season is from late summer to fall. Royal red and brown shrimp can be used interchangeably.

Consider preparing the below summer shrimp recipe at your next gathering that is both flavorful and light, or visit www.eatgulfseafood.com/recipes for more recipes ideas.

Basil Chimichurri Grilled Gulf Shrimp Skewers

Provided by Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition and Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail off
  • 6 cups cilantro leaves
  • 6 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 6 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 6 garlic cloves, whole
  • 4 jalapeños, seeded
  • ½ cup shallots, sliced
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 6 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 6 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 ½ tbsp black pepper
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

To make the chimichurri sauce, combine cilantro, basil, oregano, garlic, jalapeños, shallots, cumin, sherry vinegar, lime juice and black pepper in a food processor. Process until a paste forms and drizzle olive oil until incorporated. Reserve 1 cup chimichurri to serve on the side.

Skewer each shrimp through the tail and then the head to form a “C”. Place skewers in a bowl, pour remaining chimichurri marinade over and toss to coat well. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours before cooking.

Remove shrimp from marinade and season with salt and pepper. Grill shrimp over medium-hot grill and cook for about 1 minute on each side.

Serve with remaining chimichurri sauce on the side. Recipe yields 4 servings

For more information about the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition and the Gulf shrimp season, please contact Joanne Zaritsky at joannezaritsky@gmail.com, 850-224-1129 or 813-286-8390.

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About Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition
The Coalition provides a framework for the seafood community to coordinate marketing efforts among the Gulf States with emphasis on working with tourism boards, restaurants, retailers and chefs.  The Gulf & South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc. is coordinating the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition through funding provided by the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (NOAA Award #NA10NMF4770481).  For more information, please visit www.eatgulfseafood.com and follow the Coalition on Facebook at Gulf Coast Seafood and Twitter at @eatgulfseafood.

About Gulf & South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc.
The Foundation is a private, regional nonprofit research organization with a general membership and Board of Trustees representing a wide spectrum of the commercial fishing industry throughout the southeast U.S.   Through the Foundation, the commercial seafood and fishing industry can collectively identify industry needs, and address those needs through appropriate research and other activities.  Representing the nine-state region from Virginia to Texas, the Foundation has sponsored more than 600 fisheries related research projects.  For more information, please visit www.gulfsouthfoundation.org.