Always Deveining Shrimp
Though shrimp cook quickly, preparing them—peeling off the shells, making small slits up the back to pull out the veins—can take awhile. So we were thrilled when cookbook author Cree LeFavour, whose latest is Fish: 54 Seafood Feasts, told us she sometimes skips the deveining step. LeFavour does take out the dark veins from larger shrimp (since they aren't pretty and can impart a muddy flavor, depending on what the shrimp's last meal was) but, she says, if you're cooking smaller shrimp, it's not essential to devein (since the veins are usually flavorless)—unless you actually see a dark one. It comes down to a matter of preference, says the Louisiana Seafood Board.