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Fish 4 Friday: Zesty Grilled Shrimp with Roasted Pepper Aioli

Shrimp Grilling

Shrimp are strange little creatures. They spend their whole life crawling around on the bottom of the ocean, scavenging anything they can find. They eat anything, as if they’re the chickens of the sea (Sorry, Charlie)…

No, wait. Wrong blog! This is the food thingie, right? With chiles and all? Got it. I was momentarily confusing this place with my science blog. Back to the topic at hand–

Shrimp on the Barbie Shrimp are strange little creatures. They cook up very quickly, and they don’t have a strong flavor of their own (unless they’re not fresh, and that’s not Good Eats.) They do support flavors from all across the spectrum, from quite mild (like simple butter) to scorching hot (like Molotov Shrimp). They’re mostly easy to prepare, too, except for the deveining part. Even that’s easy if you have the right tool; but not so easy if you want to leave the tails on. Still, it’s worth the effort.

Here’s a recipe I adjusted from one I found on Creative Loafing:

This recipe seems to work best with large or jumbo shrimp; the latter are especially suited for use as an entrĂ©e, although you may want to double the recipe or something. (Scaling up is a snap with this dish, by the way.) You can control the zestiness by using more or less Sriracha sauce, or moving to a milder sauce; or hotter if you like it that way. Whatever you can dish out the shrimp can handle. I mean, just because they’re small doesn’t mean they’re not tough! But don’t overcook the little fellas or you’ll find out how tough they can be; just 2-3 minutes per side over a high-heat grill and they’re done.

Aioli is an easy dip to make, and its richness, due to the mayonnaise base, is a wonderful counterpoint to the zest on the shrimp. Using roasted peppers from a jar means you can make this one quickly. Or roast your own peppers if you like to do that, it adds another dimension of freshness to the dish. I like to put a bit of the Sriracha directly in the aioli; but that’s me. You can use any of a number of other aioli sauce preparations if you’d prefer.

With summer changing rapidly into fall, you may want to rush right out and get your goodies to try this one tomorrow, before there’s icicles hanging on your grill

Enjoy the (Shrimp Grilling) Heat!

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