Tuesday, May 19, 2009
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.
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.