SWEET AND SPICY GRILLED SHRIMP: A Fast, Easy Dinner
Recently we had two houseguests who ended up staying for three weeks. It was all good, except one doesn’t eat meat. Aarrgghh!! He’s pescatarian, so he does eat fish. Now, I have no bone to pick :) with anyone’s food choices, but as chief meal planner and chef at “Chez Stuvelyn”, this was a bummer! I love to cook for guests, but most of my favorite recipes were “off the table”. (Okay, I’ll stop!). I had to get creative—there are only so many salmon, pasta, bean and veggie-centric dishes we meat-eaters can manage night after night.
Enter SHRIMP. Fast, easy, versatile—it’s a perfect thing for dinner. I use fresh or frozen, shelled or not, whatever, but they do have to be deveined. That dark stringy line down its back is its digestive system—the intestine. While it’s harmless to eat, I just don’t want to! And I’d rather not spend a lot of time laboriously removing it. Because shrimp tend to shrink as they cook, I generally buy medium-large (36/40) or large (31/35) ones. (The number tells you how many shrimps of that size are in one pound.)
My favorite way to serve shrimp is marinated and grilled. They come out sweet and spicy—so delicious!! They taste even better when served on top of grilled veggies with farro or brown rice. In this past summer of zucchini abundance, I often combined squash with red or green peppers, onions, eggplant—but use whatever you have.
Recipe for Sweet & Spicy Shrimp Marinade (Serves 4-6)
½ cup olive oil
½ cup lemon or lime juice
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
¼ cup parsley
4-6 tbsp brown sugar
1 ½-2 tsp smoked paprika
1 ½ - 2 lbs of shrimp
Stir together all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Put the shrimp into a large ziplock bag and add in the marinade. Close the bag, then gently massage it to coat all the shrimp. Refrigerate the bag for no more than 30 minutes. (Any longer, and the shrimp will begin to “cook” as it does in ceviche.)
-If I’m making grilled vegetables and rice or farro, I prep those while marinating the shrimp. I like to stir in a couple tablespoons of the marinade into the veggies before cooking.
-You can start the veggies in the grill pan, and when they are almost cooked, add the shrimp to the pan. That way everything comes out hot and done at the same time!
-I love to use Savory Spice Pearl St. Plank Salmon Rub in this recipe. You can substitute 2-4 tbsp (or to your taste!) for the paprika and some/all of the brown sugar in this recipe. https://www.savoryspiceshop.com/salmon-seasoning