Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Garlicky Shrimp

Dress it up, dress it down. This garlicky grilled shrimp is food's version of a little black dress.

I love to serve this versatile shrimp to crowds. It can be served alone as an appetizer or as a main entree with rice or on a flour tortilla with mango salsa, and crisp, shredded lettuce and cheese. The recipe and technique is adapted from Cook's Country magazine.

I cooked the shrimp inside on a non-stick grill tonight, but when I'm cooking for a lot of people, I skewer the shrimp and cook it on the grill.

Garlicky Shrimp

1 1/2 to 2 pounds extra large shrimp (21-25 shrimp per pound), deveined.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 jalapeno, seeded
grated lime zest from one lime
5 tbs. lime (from approximately 3 limes)
6 garlic cloves (yes, I mean 6)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbs. cilantro

Butterfly the shrimp by cutting the shrimp down the center, as pictured below, but not all the way through but about 2/3rds of the way through. This will help the marinade penetrate the shrimp.

If you're marinating shrimp for less than 30 minutes, put all the ingredients except the shrimp and sugar in the blender and blend. Set 2 tbs. aside and mix the shrimp with the rest of the marinade in a Ziploc bag and put in the fridge.

If you're marinating the shrimp for more than 30 minutes, mix everything together except the lime juice. Set aside 1 tbs. of the marinade and add 2 tbs. of lime juice to the reserved marinade. Mix the shrimp with the rest of the marinade in a Ziploc bag and put in the fridge. When you take out the shrimp to cook, add the remaining 3 tbs. lime juice to the Ziploc bag and distribute it throughout the shrimp. (Marinating shrimp more than 30 minutes in the lime marinade will make the shrimp mushy.)

When ready to cook the shrimp, thread shrimp tightly on the skewers, alternating the direction of the shrimp so that the side that has the head side of the shrimp is then followed by the tail end of the shrimp, etc. This is so it will cook evenly. Lay skewers on cooking sheet and when done, sprinkle the top side with sugar.

Cooking inside: If you're not using a grill but are cooking it on a skillet inside, there is no need to skewer the shrimp.

Turn the grill burners on high. Grill shrimp sugar side down with grill lid down for 3-4 minutes. Turn burners OFF. Flip skewers, close lid, and cook 1-2 minutes until opaque.

Cooking inside: Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, lay shrimp, sugar side down, down flat one by one, making sure to leave spaces between the shrimp and not overcrowd the pan (this will allow the shrimp to sear vs. steam). You'll probably have to cook the shrimp in several batches. Cook three-four minutes or until almost opaque and then flip over and cook an additional 1-2 minutes until opaque and pink all the way through.

Slide shrimp onto a dish and sprinkle with cilantro and the remaining reserved marinade. Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary.


~Carole said...

Ninette, have I told you lately how amazing your blog is? I'm certain you're amazing, too.

Everything you make and photograph is absolutely gorgeous! I have shrimp in my freezer just waiting to be used - this recipe is it's destiny.

Aggie said...

Oh oh oh!! I love this recipe! And your photos are fantastic as usual! ;)

Jackie said...

Lovely photos. I want shrimp for lunch!

Culinary Cory said...

So easy, yet oh so delicious. Love the bit of cayenne to give them a kick of spice.

Barbara said...

Your photographs are mouth watering. I love shrimp AND garlic.This recipe sounds divine.

Wendy said...

They look delicious. I could eat shrimp every day.You mention sugar in the recipe but I don't see where it says how much?

Ninette said...

Hi Wendy,

I didn't put an amount for the sugar ... you just sprinkle on a little sugar as you would a little salt. The sugar is more to help the shrimp caramelize than for flavor. Hope this helps.