Almost all shrimp for sale at grocery stores across the country were frozen at one time or another. Shrimp has an incredibly short shelf-life when fresh, so it’s often frozen while still on the boat. Next time you purchase shrimp, opt for the kind in the freezer instead of at the seafood counter. It’s less expensive, and you can thaw it out on your own terms. Avoid frozen shrimp that has already been peeled and deveined, since it can impact the texture and flavor. Shrimp quickly sauteed with garlic is a simple, fresh dish that you can prepare in under five minutes. It’s perfect for a weeknight dinner or unexpected guests.

Things You'll Need

Place your shrimp into a large bowl of cold tap water. Change the water out every 10 minutes or so, but always replace it with very cold tap water. The shrimp should be fully defrosted within 30 to 40 minutes.

Pull off the head of the shrimp, if it is still attached. Pull off the legs. Starting at the head end, carefully peel the outer shell off of the shrimp. Make a small incision along the edge of the shrimp’s back using a paring knife. A small, blackish “vein” — it’s actually the digestive tract — should reveal itself. Remove it with your fingertips or the tip of the knife. Don’t panic if you don’t see a vein. That simply means it’s too small to impact the flavor. Store all of the shrimp in cold water while you work for safety purposes.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add four whole garlic cloves with the skins removed and the tips chopped off. Cook for about one minute, then add the shrimp, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.

Cook the shrimp for about three minutes, or until they just turn pink. Remove from heat and toss with the juice of one lemon. Transfer to a plate and serve immediately.