Grilled Shrimp with a Mexican Flair

Grilled Shrimp

Shrimp from the Grill, as Finger Food

1.25 lbs jumbo shrimp, peeled, and devein (from the back of the shrimp) anything with a dark vein.  Tails remaining on is optional.  Seems to be traditional or something.  Mine were wild caught in Florida — which I admit is possibly a way of avoiding saying “Gulf”, these days.  We still don’t know where all the BP oil went; it certainly didn’t teleport somewhere.  Okay, twice a year I’ll buy Florida wild caught shrimp.  Risk management.

1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle powder (make sure you don’t use a salt mixture.  If you really do want to add salt, add it by itself)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (Trader Joe’s rainbow peppercorns in this case)
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano 
1/4 teaspoon epazote (a Mexican herb I found at Penzey’s spices — optional)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3rd -1/2 of a lime, its juice
Fresh cilantro leaves (optional garnish) 

Put everything listed above EXCEPT the lime juice and the cilantro into a suitable smallish container.  Mix spices and herbs and oil into the shrimp with your hands.  You can adjust the amount of spices towards your own personal preferences, of course.

In this case, I marinated overnight.  If you are marinating only for a couple of hours, feel free to add the lime juice with everything else (but reserve out the cilantro!)

(If you feel like splurging on really super-large shrimp, butterfly them from the back of the shrimp and then marinate as above.  Most of these however tend to be industrially-farmed in countries that don’t necessarily have the best sanitation codes.)

All right.  Time to get dinner ready:

Get your grill going.  When hot, put your cooking pan down on the grate, and allow that to get hot, too.  Mine is a pan with holes in the bottom to allow smokey flavor to perfuse the shrimp, but it doesn’t allow the shrimp to fall between the slots in the grate.  (On Cabela’s I note they call this a “grilling wok”, although it’s really not wok-like at all.)

Add the shrimp to the grilling pan, along with the lime juice if not previously added.

Cook a total of about 3 minutes per side, flipping often with good tongs or a heat resistant silicon grilling spatula.  DO NOT OVERCOOK!  They dry out.  Use the spatula to plate, and add the cilantro to serve.

Options:  Serve hot, fresh from the grill.  I ate a few of them this way.  Hey, I had to make sure they were good!

Serve chilled, as finger food.   I reserved the rest for a pool party I attended the next day (minus the cilantro since I didn’t know how many people like, or dislike).

Oh, and PS:  Another farmer’s market collection of goodies.  I didn’t think I would have time to make it, so I’d already collected a pile of supermarket veggies.  That bit of poultry on the right is a duck.

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