It’s the final weeks of summer, and the final days of enjoying the barbecue grill. One of life’s most enjoyable and versatile cooking appliances, the barbecue grill can do an awful lot more than just burgers and steaks. We talked about roasted vegetables a few months ago, and also Carribean-style foil packets with fish and tender savory herbs. Today’s treat is an old stand-by, grilled shrimp skewers. (if the weather is particularly crappy, you can do these on a contact grill indoors, and they’re nearly as good). They’re served with a delightful horseradish remoulade here, and paired with Peruvian quinoa and diced turnips in greens.
This is a surprisingly inexpensive meal, too. A dozen medium shrimp per skewer, 30-40 count (on sale this week in frozen bags BOGO Free at the grocer) gives about 5 ounces of shrimp per skewer, two reasonable adult servings. Children have a bit lighter appetites, so 6-8 shrimp each, skewered individually, for children’s skewers. Altogether, 12+12+8+8 is 40.
Skewering shrimp is a bit of an art. Intertwine heads and tails of thawed, peeled shirmp (they’re kinda cute if you leave the tails on) as shown in the slideshow at left. A half-dozen pairs makes a good skewer. For lighter appetites, you may wish to only skewer 6-8 shrimp, individually. Then, sprinkle the assembled skewers with Old Bay, and quickly grill them HOT, till they’re red and slightly charred (this should only take a minute or so on each side) — careful NOT to overcook shrimp, because they’ll get tough and chewy quickly. you can baste them with a little melted butter, sprinkle the skewers with a little dried parsley, or even weave chives into the skewers. Be creative!
The horseradish remoulade that is served to dip the critters in is simple: To 1/4 cup each mayonnaise and stone ground mustard, add 1-2 tsp prepared horseradish (to taste) and about 1/2 tsp. of granulated garlic. Make this ahead and chill for an hour or two before dinner, to meld flavors. After you have spooned the remoulade out into individual souffle cups, sprinkle each with a little paprika, and perhaps garnish with some chopped chives.
That’s it! You’ll want to serve this delightful treat with a grain dish of some sort– I’m particularly fond of quinoa, but you could use grits or polenta, sliced red potatoes, or even, like the song says, rice (a nice blend of brown and wild rices, or perhaps a “dirty rice” mix).
The dish is shown here with diced turnips in greens, flash-frozen and less than $2 a pound (I added a little white vinegar to dress them up a little). Another option I considered was flat Italian beans from my garden and little corn cobettes (which you should keep always at-hand in your freezer, if you ask me).
40-50 count medium Shrimp: (2-4-1 10.99/lb): $5.50
ingredients to whip up remoulade (on hand): about $1.00
Peruvian quinoa (3.45/lb.): $1.15
Allen’s frozen turnip greens with diced turnips (1 lb.): $1.79
Total: (2 adults, 2 children): $9.44