Sunday, 18 August 2013

Southern Barbecue Shrimps

I think one of my favorite things about home-cooking is the part where you get to sit down and share it with awesome people. Never has that been more true than Friday night, when I had dropped by my (now infamous) friend Paul's house to gossip (it happens), and his boyfriend Richard spontaneously invited me and my man for dinner. We quickly grabbed a few ingredients from the grocery store and Richard lit up the barbecue. Before you know it, we were all cooking, eating, drinking beer and having a great time! It was truly a moment of awesome urban-family time.

The recipe we made is quite simple, and a little tweaking of the spices could give it a whole other tone, but Paul has a thing for Southern cooking. Also, who am I to say no to shrimps marinated in garlic and butter? If you keep the marinating to a minimum, this meal takes less than an hour to make, and the results are wonderful! We kept it moderately spicy, but you can play with the quantity of cayenne depending on how sensitive your tongue is to heat.

about 60 medium shrimps, heads removed and deveined
1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon tumeric
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Once the butter is melted, add the garlic and cook for 3 more minutes, until the garlic is fragrant.

Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice, paprika, cayenne, tumeric, a touch of sea salt and ground pepper and mix well.

Place the shrimps in a large freezer bag or bowl and pour in the marinade. If needed, add a drizzle of olive oil and a little more lemon juice to make sure the marinade has an oozy consistence and covers the shrimps well. Shake the bag around (or mix everything well in the bowl) so that the marinade covers the shrimps well and let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes up to overnight.

When ready to cook, remove the shrimps from the bag or bowl, and pour the marinade in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then remove from the heat and reserve. Put the shrimps on wooden skewers (5 shrimps per skewer makes for 4 brochettes per helping).

Preheat a grilling pan (or barbecue, of course) over medium-high heat and spray with a touch of non-stick cooking spray. Cook the brochettes about 2 minutes on both sides, until the shrimps are pink and firm, basting them with the marinade.

We also grilled sliced ciabatta bread on the barbecue, brushed a bit of the deliciously zesty marinade on the crunchy croutons, and served the whole thing with a spicy rice pilaf.

What an incredibly tasty meal that was! Simple, and bursting with garlic and lemon flavors. The firm chewiness of the spicy shrimps on those croutons: my god!

You could be more reasonable than we were and grill yourself some bell peppers or corn on the cob, if you must have more veggies in there. Just don't forget to generously brush your veggies with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt as it grills!

It was Friday (in Verdun, no less), so we washed all that deliciousness down with some Sleeman beers, but if you feel fancy, a fruity white wine would rock those shrimps.

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