This is just one of dozens of great ways to cook fresh shrimp. For a couple dozen good-sized tails, place several tablespoons of butter or olive oil in a large skillet and heat it over a medium flame. You want the butter to sizzle. Saute three or four diced cloves of garlic and a small diced onion until they begin to turn translucent. Don’t let them get crispy, and be careful not to burn the garlic or else it’ll turn bitter. When the garlic and onions are ready, dump in the unpeeled shrimp tails along with some minced up parsley. (Note: if you really like who you’re cooking for, you can peel the shrimp before cooking. It’s just a matter of where you want to spend your time; peeling beforehand, or during the meal.) Stir the tails frequently, watching the color. One of the biggest problems with shrimp is that people overcook them. Leave them on the heat just long enough for the reddish color to bloom and for the tails to go firm. Once they’re cooked, dump them on a plate along with the sauteed onions and garlic. Serve with lemon wedges.
Additional shrimp recipe, just for the hell of it: It almost seems like a joke to say that someone can’t boil shrimp, but there’s actually something to it. Think of it almost like cooking pasta. You want a lot of boiling water so that the cold shrimp don’t totally stop the boil when you dump them in. Ideally, you’d have a big enough pot that your shrimp would form only a single layer on the bottom. I also like to add some salt to my cooking water, just enough to make it about as salty as sea water. Once you get the appropriate amount of salted water to a full boil, dump in the shrimp. Now don’t wander away; you want to stay focused. The risk is overcooking the shrimp, which makes the flesh mealy. You want to pluck them out with a slotted spoon shortly after they come bobbing to the surface, just as the reddish color starts to bloom. They’ll keep cooking once you pull them out, so plunge them into cold water. That shock also helps loosen the peels, which makes for easier eating. Serve with cocktail sauce, or eat ‘em plain.