Fresh Fridays 
September 21, 2012
Vol. IV, No. 19   
january grain of the month

Seafood plays an important role in the Mediterranean Diet, but if you're new to this way of eating, navigating all the fish and shellfish choices can be daunting. Make it easy on yourself and start with shrimp. Providing a clean, fresh, mild flavor and appealing texture, shrimp is very easy to cook and tastes delicious warm or cold. No surprise that, after tuna, it's the second most popular seafood choice in America. Plus, like many other kinds of fish or shellfish, shrimp is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to brain and heart health.

You can buy fresh or frozen shrimp all year long. Purchase shrimp according to the counts on the packages:  in general, you will get 55 small shrimp, 45 medium shrimp, and 33 large shrimp per pound. Eat fresh or thawed, previously frozen shrimp within 24 hours of buying it. Check the expiration date on packages of frozen shrimp. If you're freezing them yourself, plan to eat them within three months for best flavor.

It's easy to cook shrimp in the shells:  Simply bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the shrimp, and cook them for three to six minutes, depending on the size. When they turn pink, they're done. Drain and let cool for a few minutes. Then peel with your fingers. If you wish, use a sharp knife to remove the dark vein that runs down the middle of larger shrimp. One pound of raw shrimp in the shell will give you about 1/2 pound of peeled, cooled shrimp.

Here are three ways to enjoy shrimp and sample their versatility:

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Make Each Day Mediterranean 
Download a PDF with lots of tips and ideas.   
You can put this delicious combination of flavors together in just a few minutes. And, since it bakes quickly, too, it's a perfect dish to turn to for an impromptu weeknight supper. For a special dinner, use four small individual crocks rather than one large baking dish.  And, if you wish, you can omit the cheese and serve instead with a wedge of lemon.   
Bowtie Pasta with Shrimp
Combining shrimp with pasta helps make your seafood meal go further, yet keeps it very affordable. You can also use this tasty dish as the centerpiece for a salad served as an entrée. Be sure to allow at least two hours for the shrimp to marinate before you serve them.
Photo courtesy of National Fisheries Institute             
Try this delicious variation on a classic Italian dish. Using a flavored oil - in this case, macadamia nut - in place of olive oil provides a whole new flavor twist.  Cook the shrimp ahead of time and chill them to cut down on the preparation time.           

Photo courtesy of International Collection         

Fresh Fridays is a bi-weekly celebration of Mediterranean eating and living. We hope our Friday recipes will remind you just how easy and delicious eating the Mediterranean way can be.   
To find even more delicious Mediterranean recipes please visit:    

 Mediterranean Foods Alliance (MFA)       



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Med Diet USA
Festa Italiana!
Harriet Island
Regional Park
St. Paul, Minnesota 
September 21-22, 2012
Enjoy award-winning Italian fare, including panini, grilled garlic toast, antipasti platters, olives on a stick, pasta, and a game of bocce. 
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 Discover the landscape and the food of Turkey, and try your hand at recipes that represent the country's
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