Friday, April 25, 2008



Well, I hope you weren't holding dinner for this recipe! (Only kidding.) Another busy day next to the water, starting with putting out the crab pots, then cutting some firewood our neighbor gave to us, shopping, cleaning up the yard, etc., etc., etc. Before I know it, it was 3 o'clock. The day has been a bit chillier and more overcast than it was yesterday, but still pleasant enough. There's a chance of rain tomorrow, so it's a good think we've had these two days to finish the outside things. Later this afternoon we'll take the boat out one more time to see if any crabs have found our offering of stinky, oily fish irresistible.

These kebabs are a fun party dish. I don't usually enjoy making kebabs, what with all the tedious assembly, but these are so good and so much fun too eat I don't mind the work of putting them together. I say "fun" because the shrimp marinate and then cook in their shells, so they become finger food when it's time to eat them. You have to shell them like you would crabs or lobster--in my book, any meal that involves elbows on the table and playing with your food in order to eat it is a fun meal. Dignity and greasy fingers don't go together.

Notes: use whatever vegetables you like. The pearl onions are something of a pain to peel, but they are delicious grilled and marinated and a standard part of the dish. I used red bell peppers as an addition in the version in the picture; I've also used zucchini. Whatever you use besides onions, cut the vegetable into the size you want, zap it in the microwave for no longer than a minute, and then plunge it, still warm, into the marinade.

This is an adaptation from a recipe in

16 pearl onions
1 1/4 cups herb-garlic marinade (see below)
2 large red bell peppers, cut into 24 chunks
24 jumbo shrinp (about 1 1/2 lbs), shell on
8 10-inch wooden skewers
Boil onions in water to cover until just tender, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and pour off water. When just cool enough to handle, peel, leaving root ends intact. Place still-warm onions in 1/4 cup marinade. Marinate all day.

See note above about additonal vegetable. Place, warm, in marinade with onions.

Place unpeeled shrimp in remaining marinade. Marinate at least 1 hour and up to 4.

Soak skewers in water 30 minutes.

Drain shrimp, discarding marinade. In a seive set over a bowl, drain vegebables and reserve marinade for basting. Thread all ingredients evenly onto skewers. Kebabs may be assembled up to one hour ahead.

Grill kebabs on a lightly oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals until just cooked through, and lightly charred, about 3 minutes per side. (Alternatively, broil kekabs under pre-heated broiler 2 to 3 inches from heat about 2 1/2 minutes per side.

Drizzle cooked kebabs with reserved vegetable marinade and serve.

Herb-Garlic Marinade:
6 large garlic cloves
1/3 cup packed fresh thyme sprigs
1/4 cup packed tender fresh rosemary sprigs
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups oilive oil
1 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
Mince garlic, herbs and salt together in a food processor. Woody stems on the herbs are OK--they will not be eaten. Add lemon juice and olive oil to herbs in processor bowl and process until emulsified.


Nan said...

Those look delicious! After my simple supper of whole wheat matzo-brie, those are making me hungry - again! Happy weekend - and glad to hear you are accentuating the positive.

Anonymous said...

My kids got me a Showtime rotis for Christmas last year and with it a recipe book which has this almost exact recipe for beef and shrimp. I have the skewers and must admit, everything tastes better on a rotis. We make at least one dinner a week on it and rarely use our outdoor grill since learning how to use the Showtime.

Peewit said...

Surely you are tempting fate by not deveining the shrimp before cooking? My 13 year old does a similar recipe for our parties but she shells (but leaves the tails on) and deveins the shrimps before marinading. That way I get all the shells to use in making stock to use as a base for an Asian style Sweet and Sour Prawn soup

Ralph said...

Nan, that sounds like a healthy, simple dinner, and easier than threading shrimp and vegetables on skewers. Both meals have their time try the shrimp!

Z&M. that rotisserie sounds interesting. You pique my curiosity and I think I'll look at it. It is less hassle than grilling, and you can do things indoors...but if I got one, it would probably be an adjunct, not a substitute. I just like cooking over fire, I guess. The aroma, and the general "rustic-ness."

Ralph said...

Peewit, you're right, this recipe is already out there far and wide. What I've out here is my own take with my own variations, on a recipe, I found on Your comment reminds me that the shrimp we get in groceries now are sold shell on, but split down the back, alreday de-veined. A major convenience.

I' too, make stock when recipes call specifially for shelled shrimp. You can't beat it.

Leaving tails and that last segment of shell on shrimp: a pet peeve of mine. It's a convenience, of course, to have such a "handle" for fried shrimp or shrimp cocktail. But all restaurants here seem to have made a fetish of leaving the tails on, even in chowders and gloppy, cheesy composed dishes from which you'd like to just get a forkful of food to savor without being bothered with bits of shell. The way things are now, you either have to make a mess picking up each shrimp to remove the tail before you dive into the dish, (or do microsurgical carving with your knife) or sacrifice part of the meat you paid for by cutting off the shell and tail altogether. I either avoid shrimp dishes in restaurants as a consequence, or if I do get shrimp, complain to the chef. It makes no sense to me whatsoever.

Eclecticity said...

What time could you have expected me???