Grilled Shrimp

Shrimp is generally a beach-only treat for me because I’m not crazy about keeping and/or using frozen shrimp (I’m weird about some frozen fish – add it to my long list of quirks). However. As I was meal planning for this week, I randomly decided that I was going to make grilled shrimp on Monday, in an effort to diversify my current meals (and, who wants to come over for grilled shrimp later this summer? All of y’all? Yep, that’s what I thought – see, I need to learn how to appropriately grill some shrimp).

I was fortunate enough to find fresh gulf shrimp on sale at Harry’s (aka the magical land of delicious foodie noms) on Monday after I was finished with my extra long work day. And I got SUPER excited about grilling up some delicious, fresh, on-sale shrimp for Dave and me on such a beautiful spring night.

But then, I realized something: these shrimp weren’t going to peel & de-vein themselves. And I was tired. And really hungry. And, with no prior experience peeling shrimp (unless they’re already steamed, just begging to be dunked in clarified butter & devoured quickly) or deveining them, I immediately thought about just how long I was going to be standing over that sink, dealing with shrimp peels & digestive tracts. I almost cried. Almost. I’m not a crier.

As I stood there for 30 minutes preparing the pound of shrimp I’d purchased, I asked myself the same question I always ask when facing a difficult or time consuming task in the kitchen: “is this worth it?” Is it really worth spending that much time with a sharp object & raw crustaceans for a meal that would take about 10 minutes to scarf down?

Turns out that, in this case, the answer is YES. Just look at those golden, delicious shrimpy shrimps:

Here’s the recipe.

Grilled Shrimp

First, make a marinade for the shrimp. I used some extra virgin olive oil (maybe 1/4 cup?), the juice of 1 lemon, couple dashes of dried oregano, about 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste, salt & pepper. In hindsight, I also should’ve included some minced garlic, so throw that in there if you’ve got it. Whisk together & set aside.

Peel & devein about 1 pound fresh shrimp, and marinate for anywhere from 15 minutes (that’s all the time I had on Monday) – 1 hour.

Skewer the shrimp and grill for about 1 1/2 minutes/side. I totally overcooked mine, but that was okay with me. I still ate them. And so did Dave. Voraciously.

I served these with some grilled onions & red peppers (all the veggies I had left in my fridge – hanging in there for my Farmer’s Market Basket that I get to pick up tomorrow!), and some rice.

Best of all, I got to create a second meal with my leftovers…

LEFTOVER grilled shrimp pasta 

I really wanted a buttery, creamy sauce to go with my leftover shrimp the next day. I was out of heavy cream, though, and was forced to attempt a cream-based sauce with half & half. You know what doesn’t work in cream based sauces with reduced white wine & lemon juice? Half & half. I had a curdled mess on my hands, and I was really sad about that. But I also had a perfectly cooked serving of whole wheat pasta, leftover grilled shrimp, and the strong desire for a sauce of some sort to marry the two together.

So, I started over with the sauce. I simmered some garlic in a little white wine and lemon juice, then added salt & pepper, heated up the shrimp in the sauce, tossed it with my rotini, and showered the whole thing with fresh parmesan. mmmm. It wasn’t a creamy delicious sauce, but it was a citrusy, healthy sauce that I’d totally make again sometime.

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