Saturday, October 1, 2011



This is one of the best shrimp dishes we have ever had.  It's spicy without being too hot and although Larry is not overly fond of hot shrimp, he really enjoys these.  We once served these as an appetizer for a dinner party and two of our guests ate so many they couldn't eat dinner!  Warning:  They are messy and are definitively a 'hands on' dish.

We are lucky that we can buy shrimp in the shells that have already had the shell sliced and the main vein (intestine) removed.  They do come that way in bags in the freezer section of most major stores, so you should be able to find them.  The larger the shrimp, the better.

1 Tbsp orange zest
1/3 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup oil
2/3 cup lime juice
1 1/2 cups cilantro sprigs, loosely packed
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or more or less to taste
36 large shrimp (1 to 1 1/2 pound depending on the size of the shrimp)
18 lime wedges
cilantro sprigs for garnish

Mix orange zest and juice, garlic, honey, oil, lime juice, cilantro, soy sauce and red pepper flakes in a food processor until cilantro is minced.  (Note:  if you like REALLY spicy you can add a dash of cayenne and/or a dash of hot sauce to the mix as well!)  

Set aside 1/4 cup sauce for basting and remaining 1/2 cup sauce in a separate bowl and pour remaining marinade into a plastic bag.  If you weren't lucky enough to get the pre-cleaned shrimp, snip shrimp shells down the back using kitchen shears, leaving shells intact.  Devein under cold running water.  Blot the shrimp with paper towels and add shrimp to marinade and mix well.  Close bag, pressing closed to remove air.  Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.  (Note:  Don't marinate much longer or the shrimp will become mushy as the fruit juices tend to 'cook' the shrimp.)

Soak 6 wooden skewers in water 30 minutes before using. Thread 1 lime wedge on 1 skewer then thred each of six shrimp through top and onto the skewer.  Thread another lime wedge on the skewer after shrimp, pushing shrimp together as necessary to fit on skewer.  Repeat with remaining five skewers.  (Note:  If you have a vegetable grilling basket that works well in lieu of the skewers.  Just put the shrimp and limes in it.)

Grill over hot coals and a few soaked mesquite chips until seared, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Brush shrimp generously with some of the reserved 1/4 basting sauce and carefully turn.  Brush top side with additional basting sauce and cook until opaque, about 1 minute.  DON'T OVER COOK.  THEY WILL BECOME MUSHY.

Serve the shrimp or skewers on platter garnished with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges.  Divide reserved 1/2 cup sauce between small ramekins, one for each person to use to dip the shrimp.  Serve hot or a room temperature with a plethora of napkins.  A bit of rice and tomato is nice if this is to be a main course.  

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