It’s finally spring time here in DC, the cherry blossoms are starting to bloom, the sun is out and it’s a beautiful Easter day. What better way to celebrate new beginnings than with a grill out with great friends?
A simple marinade makes shrimp easy and tasty. After shelling these guys, I put them in the marinade and let them soak it up on our drive over to friends and skewered them there. I love shrimp because they tell you when they are done cooking, in addition to being delicious. A little bit of char from the grill and you’re celebrating in style.
Marinades come in all kinds and flavors but as long as you have the trinity you’ll make a winning combination. Use these three components of a marinade to create your own recipe.
Acid: Wine, vinegar, citrus juice, beer, and yogurt weaken the proteins in meat and seafood, rendering them more tender and moist. Acidic ingredients also tend to make fish taste delicate and less fishy.
Fat: Usually oil. It adds moisture and helps keep marinated food from sticking to the grill.
Aromatics: Garlic, citrus zest, lemongrass, minced chiles, and herbs penetrate the surface of the meat, giving it flavor. Experiment with whatever appeals to you, from pesto to pepper jelly.
The one I used today is pretty simple, with everyday ingredients you have around the house. For about 1 lb of shrimp you’ll need:
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon of parsley, fresh if you have it
- 1 teaspoon of chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of seafood seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt, sprinkle for finishing
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
Peel and devein shrimp if not done already. Cover completely with the marinade and let sit for 30 minutes. Do not over marinate or shrimp will become mealy. When ready, skewer and grill for about 5 minutes a side– the shrimp will let you know when they are ready as they’ll be BRIGHT and juicy looking. Sprinkle with a finish of salt and parsley. Serve them immediately with lemon juice, clarified butter, mayonnaise or tartar sauce.
Serving Ideas: Get wild and crazy here on your skewers, but keep in mind that most vegetables should be parboiled as the shrimp will cook faster than most other ingredients. That said, onions, peppers, pineapples, mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes all go wonderfully together.