Shrimp is not exactly cheap, but there are degrees of not-cheap. If you take on the burden of shelling and cleaning the shrimp yourself, you’ve already cut the price on a pound down at least a couple of bucks. Make sure you don’t get jumbo shrimp (pricier) and you’re sticking within the $8 budget.
This method for shrimp is inspired by Mark Bittman: cooking the shrimp fast in a hot oven. The flavor is inspired by Amanda Hesser, who zests citrus to flavor the quick-cooking shrimp. The onions are all mine: they’re the cheapest accompaniment I could think of, and by flavoring them with pantry basics (mustard, dried herbs, and red pepper), you roast them into the perfect foil for the juicy, lemony shrimp.
From my kitchen albeit small, to yours,
Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Roasted Lemon Shrimp with Mustard-Herb Onions
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon prepared Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Red pepper flakes
3 large onions, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
1 pound shell-on shrimp, trimmed, cleaned, and patted dry
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a medium mixing bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, the mustard, 1/4 teaspoon thyme, a pinch of salt, freshly ground pepper, and the juice of half the lemon. Mix together, then add the onions and toss well. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the onions are just brown around the edges. Remove from the oven, and raise the heat to 450°F.
While the onions are cooking, rinse out the mixing bowl. In the same bowl, combine the zest of the lemon, the red pepper flakes, the remaining lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and the shrimp, and toss to distribute.
Scoop the shrimp and all its oil on top of the onions. Return to the oven and cook 5 minutes, until the shrimp are pink and cooked through.
Serve immediately. You can eat these shrimp plain, or pile them on top of rice or quinoa.