Nana’s Recipes: Port Isabel Style Shrimp


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Port Isabel, TX is so far south on South Padre Island…..(how south is it?)…..that if you went any further south, you’d be in Mexico! It’s the coastal town just to the east of Brownsville, kind of the Galveston if Brownsville was Houston, know what I mean? And of course it’s a fairly historic little southern port town too. As a matter of fact it used to be a major center for cotton exports and actually was  fought over during the Civil War. Pt Isabel also has one of those iconic old light houses, as well as the old town square around it. These days though, it’s a vacation destination offering seafood, beaches, and all the aquatic activities. Port Isabel is also home to the World Championship Shrimp Cookoff, so in that spirit we’re going to talk Port Isabel style Shrimp!

You’ll need a skillet, a pound and a half of peeled and deveined shrimp, a white onion, green onions, limes, and spices. First lets rub a little butter all over the skillet to make it non-stick, and then chop the white onion (about a cup and a half’s worth), finely chop the green onions (about a quarter cup’s worth), and mince two garlic cloves. Get the skillet up to medium-high heat and start sautéing the white onion for about 3 minutes or so and add a teaspoon of cumin, a teaspoon of chili powder, the minced garlic, and the shrimp! Sauteé for another 4 minutes or so and remove from heat, immediately after removing from heat add two tablespoons of butter, half a teaspoon of salt, and your favorite hot sauce (amount and style determined by your own personal tastes but let’s keep it subtle) and stir and stir until the butter is all melted. While you’re stirring add about a quarter cup of lime juice and that quarter cup of green onions. If you feel like adding some lime wedges, go right ahead, but serve on a bed of Mexican Rice. If you feel like drinking a delicious Mexican beer like a Victoria, Leon, or El Indio while you’re cooking, that is actually encouraged! We hope you enjoy this dish and if you have any favorite south Texas dishes, please tell us about it in the comment section below, and remember to come to the website and say howdy before you hit the road!