Monday, February 17, 2014

Simple Grilled Shrimp

Shrimp are so versatile and so easy to cook.  My favorite way to eat them is, of course, grilled!  Grilled shrimp carry a "bonus" with them in that they're even better the next day out of the refrigerator in an omelet or as a low-calorie pre-breakfast treat!

You will need:
  • A bunch of shrimp.  2-3lbs should do it.
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Juice of 1 large lime
  • 1 Tsp of yellow mustard
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped fine
  • A good handful of a dry rub that contains equal parts of salt, pepper, chili powder, and brown sugar

The first thing you'll need to do is to find some good shrimp.  For grilling, you'll need some big ones.  Shrimp are sized by a number that can be confusing, the number indicates how many of those particular shrimp it would take to make a pound.  The smaller the number, the larger the shrimp... so if you had some #4s, you'd have shrimp that were 1/4 pound each, and so on.  I like the 13s or bigger for grilling (also called "Colossal").  You can grill smaller ones, but it takes time and care to season, skewer, cook, and manage so many of the little buggars.  So, find some #10-13s and peel them so that all that remains are the tails (tails make great handles).

In a bowl, use a whisk to combine the oil and lime juice.  A touch of yellow mustard acts as an amazing catalyst to bring these two together into a lovely smooth vinaigrette.  Add the garlic.  Now, pour the mix over the shrimp in a larger bowl and mix to coat them.  Shake on your dry rub, and don't be shy!  I had just started shaking on the rub when I took this picture, you'll know you have "generous coverage" when you see it in your bowl...

Pour all of the rub-covered shrimps into a zip-top bag, remove as much of the air as you can, and stash them in the refrigerator while you get the grill going.  You can leave them in there overnight if you want, but no longer than 12 hours.  A minimum of 1 hour is great.

While your grill is pre-heating, you'll need to stash your adult beverage in a cool place.  Living in MN affords me a convenient snow-Koozy which I frequently take advantage of.

While your grill is pre-heating, you'll need to skewer your shrimp.  It pays to lube up your skewers first with a light coating of olive oil, just dab some into the palm of your hand and wipe the skewers through the oil.  This will make the removal of the shrimp a much easier task later! 

Shrimp cook extremely quickly, 5 minutes over a decent open flame (2-3 minutes per side) will render them done, tender, and very very tasty!  If you grill them longer than that, they'll shrink into little rubbery disks and nobody wants to eat those, even if they're trying to be polite about it.  So... what you want out of your grill is a nice hot open flame.  Lay the shrimp down and close the lid to build up some smoke.  Let the shrimp sit in the smoke for 90 seconds, then open the lid and watch them for another minute to make sure there are no flame ups.  Flip and repeat on the other side, and you're done!  Carry in the skewers and slide your shrimp-army into a presentable dish, garnish them with some chopped green onion, and serve immediately! 


  1. Mustard. I wouldn't have thought of that! Good post!

    1. Open flame and high heat do AMAZING things to yellow mustard! You won't detect any part of the "mustardy" flavor at all, just a light crust and a bit of sweetness.


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