Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Shrimp in Spicy Garlic Paste

This is a family favorite from my cooking bible, Cook's Illustrated. Make sure you buy shrimp with the shells on. Peeling the shrimp spreads the spicy garlic paste all over the shrimp. Serves 8 as an entree (5 pieces per person) or a whole crowd for appetizers.

2 pounds large unpeeled shrimp (21 to 25 per pound)
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice

lemon wedges
  1. Mash garlic with salt to form smooth paste. Combine garlic paste with cayenne, paprika, olive oil, and lemon juice in small bowl. Toss shrimp with paste until evenly coated. (Can be covered and refrigerated up to 1 hour). Thread shrimp onto skewers.
  2. Meanwhile, light large chimney starter filled with  charcoal (about 2½ pounds) and allow to burn until charcoal is covered with layer of fine gray ash. Spread coals evenly over grill bottom for medium-hot fire. Set cooking rack in place, cover grill with lid, and let rack heat up, about 5 minutes. Alternatively, preheat gas grill with all burners set to high and lid down until grill is very hot, about 15 minutes. Scrape rack clean with wire brush.
  3. Grill shrimp, uncovered for charcoal, covered for gas, turning skewers once, until shells are barely charred and bright pink, 4 to 6 minutes. Serve hot with lemon wedges.
Wine pairing: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

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