One of my husband’s favorite foods is shrimp, pretty much any way it comes.  As for me, I love shrimp as well but I’m more picky on how I like it cooked.  In my opinion, the flavor of grilled shrimp is just so awesome; the smokiness from the grill melds just perfectly with the sweet of the shrimp.  I found a recipe for a shrimp marinade on Allrecipes.com that I love (with a minor adjustment, it’s a great recipe).

I have noticed the market being flooded with cheap shrimp over the past couple of years.  The problem with this shrimp (and I do use it occasionally) is that it’s farm raised instead of wild caught.  The taste is just not the same in the farm raised (a great deal of it is also raised in China, Thailand and Vietnam as well, so I have serious concerns over how it is raised).  It’s almost flavorless and for someone who loves flavor it’s just not up to par with the wild caught.  I do believe in buying sustainable where I can but I have more problems with how the shrimp are raised in the aquafarms.  The wild caught is more pricey but trust me, it’s worth it because of the quality of food you make.  Remember quality of ingredients always equals better quality food.

I served this shrimp with the Fresh Tomato Marinade and Boston Lettuce Salad the other day but it goes great on rice, noodles or at a BBQ.  They will work for appetizers or as the main meat with a side.  The only changes I made was to change the 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to 1/2 teaspoon because we like things spicy and the shrimp need to marinade for at least 2 hours.  30 minutes is just not enough to get the wonderful flavors throughout the shrimp.  I also didn’t worry with the skewers this time but either way works fine.

Just remember DO NOT over cook the shrimp.  It becomes tough.  Shrimp and prawns should only be cooked for a couple of minutes for small ones and the Jumbo size gets about four to five minutes total.  When the shrimp is turning pink and the tails are curling, it’s done.  Remove it from the heat immediately.  If you are cooking a recipe that says to leave the shrimp in the whole time you are cooking the complete dish, don’t.  Cook the shrimp, remove it from the pan and then add it back in when you are finished with the dish or add it in the last few minutes of cooking.  Shrimp does NOT need 20 minutes to cook.

This recipe is spicy, so regulate the amount of cayenne if you don’t like so much heat.  Otherwise, wake up your taste buds with the tangy heat combined with the sweet flavor of the shrimp in this very easy to make sophisticated but simple dish.

Marinated Grilled Shrimp

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup tomato sauce

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

skewers

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the garlic, olive oil, tomato sauce, and red wine vinegar. Season with basil, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add shrimp to the bowl, and stir until evenly coated. Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring once or twice.
  2. Preheat grill for medium heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard marinade.
  3. Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp on preheated grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque.

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