Keep shrimp in their shells for foolproof grilling

Recently, I elected to saute, rather than grill, some stellar spot prawns purchased live from my favorite coastal seafood market. (See photos on my Facebook page.)

It was a decision based mostly on the shellfish vying with oysters for space on the grill, mentioned in a previous post. But I gave grilling some serious thought. How often do I get the chance to grill truly fresh (as in I just dispatched them minutes before), head-on, plump, succulent shrimp?

Indeed, keeping shrimp shells intact, as the Detroit Free Press recently advocated, ensures a juicy result. Choosing the largest shrimp available for grilling also allows for a margin of error. Depending on their size, shrimp cook in just three minutes per side on the grill.

Here’s a recipe, courtesy of the Free Press, that needs only a bit of up-front effort to devein the shrimp. Then peel and eat!

Tribune News Service photo

Zesty Garlic Shrimp

15 to 20 jumbo shrimp (about 1 1/4 pounds)

1/2 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes, or to taste

Oil, for grates

1 tablespoon panko breadcrumbs

Using scissors, cut along the shrimp backs to loosen shells and devein. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, parsley, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper and red-pepper flakes. Remove about half of marinade to a separate bowl to serve as a sauce.

Place shrimp in a plastic bag or bowl and pour marinade over shrimp. Press air out of bag and seal tightly. Turn bag to distribute marinade or toss shrimp in bowl to coat with marinade. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat grill for direct medium heat and oil grates.

Remove shrimp from bag and discard marinade. Thread shrimp onto skewers: 1 per skewer as an hors d’oeuvre, or 3 to 4 shrimp as a main dish. Sprinkle breadcrumbs evenly over shrimp. Grill over direct heat until just opaque in center and firm to touch, for 4 to 6 minutes, turning skewers once halfway through grilling time. Serve warm with reserved sauce on the side.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe adapted by the Detroit Free Press from “Weber’s Greatest Hits” by Jamie Purviance (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24.99).

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    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
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