It’s 95 degrees here in North Carolina today…seems more like August than June…. so I thought that I would share some favorite grilled shrimp recipes. Shrimp is the perfect protein for a hot summer supper.  The kitchen will stay cool and you will only have to stand over the hot grill for 5 minutes or so.

I prefer to buy shrimp at the fish market, and mine will peel and devein them for me if I call them and order in advance.  They charge an extra dollar per pound but it’s worth it.  If I buy shrimp a grocery store, I always peel and devein it myself.  Most shrimp has been frozen at some point and the shell protects the meat. Other general guidelines:

Shrimp should be firm and have a full shell with white meat.  (Don’t hesitate to ask for a smell.  It is annoying to get home and open a package of shrimp and get that strong “shrimpy” smell.)  If there is the smell of ammonia then the shrimp is way past it’s prime.

Go ahead and buy frozen shrimp and defrost it yourself if the “fresh” shrimp at the market looks or smells tired.

Never buy shrimp with black spots or rings on the shell. (Unless it is Black Tiger Shrimp)

I actually have quite a few shrimp recipes for the grill, but these three are the best of the best.  Enjoy!

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Spicy Grilled Jalapeno and Lime Shrimp

This recipe is from Cooks Country (June, 2007). You can adjust the amount of jalapeno according to your taste for heat.  Either way, these shrimp have a big burst of flavor that I love.
Marinade:
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
5 tablespoons lime juice
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Shrimp:
1 1/2 pounds extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1.  For the marinade: Process all ingredients in food processor until smooth.  Reserve 2 tablespoons marinade; transfer remaining marinade to medium bowl.
2.  For the shrimp:  Pat shrimp dry with paper towels and add to bowl with the marinade.  Toss to coat and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but not more than an hour. (after that, the lime juice will begin to “cook” the shrimp.)
3.  Heat grill on high.  Thread shrimp onto metal skewers and sprinkle one side of shrimp with sugar.  Grill shrimp sugar side down on the hot grill until lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Flip skewers and cook another 1-2 minutes until just no longer translucent.  Using tongs, slide shrimp from the skewers into a medium bowl and toss with reserved marinade.  Sprinkle with minced cilantro and serve.
Serves 4.
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Grilled Herb Shrimp

This has been my go-to shrimp recipe for years.  It comes from the Barefoot Contessa Parties cookbook and she mentions that it is a slight variation of the recipe in the New York Times Cookbook by Craig Claiborne. Kudos all around for such a winning recipe.  The Contessa serves it with a mango salsa which is very good.  I have tossed it with pasta, skewered it for appetizers, served it over grits, and mixed it into salads.  One of my favorite things about this dish is that it can marinate for as little as one hour and up to two days!  I have marinated pounds of shrimp, filled up big zip lock bags, set them on ice in a cooler and  travelled to the beach for a cookout.  The easiest way to cook them is to use long metal skewers.  But they can be grilled individually as well…it just takes a bit longer to get them all turned. I do use wooden skewers from time to time but they really can be a bother catching fire, etc.
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium yellow onion, small diced
1/4 minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried mustard
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup good olive oil
juice of one lemon
2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on
Combine the garlic, onion, parsley, basil, the mustards, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice.  Add the shrimp and allow them to marinate for 1 hour at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Prepare a charcoal grill with hot coals or preheat gas grill to high.  Clean the grill rack well and brush with oil to prevent sticking. Skewer the shrimp and grill for 1-2 minutes per side.  Serves 6
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Crusty Grilled Shrimp with Soy-Sesame Sauce

 
When I first tried this recipe, I couldn’t quite see how it would work to grill breaded shrimp.  I thought that I might be in for a huge mess on the grill.  Well, it does leave a bit more mess than the other shrimp recipes I’m giving you but I promise that it is worth it.  I have never, ever, had one shrimp left over when serving this dish.   (These shrimp can also be broiled in the oven.  I suggest that you do a trial with one or two shrimp to determine the timing and the rack placement that works best with your oven.  I found that putting the rack in the middle of the oven and turning the shrimp once after 2 minutes worked best for having the breading crispy and brown and the shrimp cooked through all at the same time.) The recipe is from At Blanchard’s Table, by Bob and Melinda Blanchard.
1 pound large shrimp
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Prepare the grill.  Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on.  Using a small knife, butterfly the shrimp by slicing down the length of the inside of each. Be careful not to cut all the way through.  Spread and flatten the butterflied shrimp.
In a medium bowl, combine the oil, lemon juice, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.  Put the bread crumb mixture in a pile on a cutting board.  Coat both side of the shrimp with the bread crumbs.
In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil together and set aside.
  Grill the shrimp on both sides until just done, about 4 minutes.  Drizzle with the soy-sesame sauce.  Serve immediately. Serves 5-6
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