We ate this last night for dinner--fresh South Carolina shrimp seasoned with thyme, ancho chile powder, oregano, and smoked paprika. And the best part was that someone else cooked it for us...
This recipe was adapted from Cook's Illustrated by my brother-in-law, an excellent cook who has made this shrimp for our family many times. There are a couple of secrets that make it great: One, you brine the shrimp for about 30 minutes to help them stay especially juicy on the grill. Two, you serve them with melted garlic butter for dipping.
Ok, I decided that the second tip was a crucial one. But I really love the garlic butter.
Shrimp cook in no time, which means this is a quick, easy dinner you can do on a weeknight. It's even easier if you have a grill basket (similar to this one, but with four sides), so you can just toss the shrimp in and shake them over the flame, but you can also skewer them.
Spicy, Smoky Grilled Shrimp
adapted from Cook's Illustrated
serves three to four
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup salt
1 1/2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
Fill a large bowl with cold water and add the sugar and salt. Stir, then add the shrimp and let them sit in the brine for about 30 minutes. Drain.
Combine the oregano, smoked paprika, thyme, ancho chile powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and olive oil and stir until all of the shrimp are coated in the oil and spice mixture. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
Melt the butter in a small sauce pan until melted and just beginning to sizzle. Add the garlic, stir, and turn off the heat.
Cook the shrimp on a very hot grill for 4 to 5 minutes, until seared on the outside and fully pink. If using a grill basket, toss once or twice to get the shrimp evenly seared. If using skewers, flip once while cooking. Serve with the garlic butter (and good bread) for dipping.
Related: Recipe Redux: Roasted Tomatoes with Shrimp and Feta
(Image: Elizabeth Passarella)