I’ve been in a bit of a cooking rut lately. I blame it on the whirlwind that was the month of May, which found Mike and I either out of town, celebrating a birthday or graduation, or grabbing whatever foodstuffs were handy for dinner while frantically preparing for the aforementioned vacations.
June has brought with it not only a return to our more-or-less usual routine, but also weather so beautiful that it seemed criminal to waste it indoors cooking or strolling the aisles of the grocery store. This means that dinner at the Cassity house lately has consisted of such gourmet offerings as egg salad sandwiches, hot dogs, and cold cereal. Aren’t you jealous?
In an effort to try and get my groove back, I dug some shrimp out of the freezer one morning last week, put them in the fridge to thaw, and started looking around for a recipe. This cilantro lime version I found produced flavorful, succulent shrimp that are the perfect balance of salty, sweet, sour, and hot. Served with some quinoa and a green salad, they were a perfectly light summer meal that came together so quickly that we had plenty of time to bask in the outdoors after dinner. Let’s just not talk about how the shrimp actually took two full days to thaw, so that on the night I planned to cook them we once again forewent a decent home-cooked meal and indulged our lonestar taqueria habit instead. That little debacle is entirely beside the point.
Cilantro Lime Shrimp (from The Gourmet Cookbook)
The recipe recommends sauteeing the shrimp, but I thought the smoky flavor of the grill would complement the flavors nicely so I grilled them instead. I’ve included instructions for both cooking methods. Also, these are originally meant to be served as an appetizer, so if you’re looking to serve them as a main course for more than 2 or 3 people I would up the quantities.
3 garlic cloves
1 1/8 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons olive oil (plus more if sauteeing shrimp)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined (The recipe says 20-24 to the pound but I used 25-31 to the pound)
1) Using a large knife, mince garlic cloves and mash to a paste.
2) Mix garlic with 1 teaspoon salt.
3) Whisk together garlic paste, lime juice, marmalade, cilantro, 3 tablespoons oil, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt,and pepper in a small bowl.
4) Transfer 1/3 cup of the mixture to small serving bowl and reserve for dipping sauce.
5) Combine shrimp with remaining mixture in a large sealable plastic bag and seal bag, pressing out excess air.
6) Marinate shrimp in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, turning the bag once halfway through.
7) Drain shrimp and gently pat dry.
8) To grill shrimp: Thread shrimp onto skewers (if they’re wooden skewers make sure to soak them in water for 15-20 minutes beforehand). Place on an oiled grill and cook over medium heat until shrimp are pink on the outside and opaque (about 1 ½ or 2 minutes per side).
To pan fry: Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large non-stick skillet over moderately high heat.
Add half the shrimp and cook, turning occasionally until shrimp is cooked through, about 3 minutes total. Transfer to a platter and cook the remaining shrimp in 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil.
9) Garnish with cilantro and serve with dipping sauce.