Thursday, May 27, 2010

Caribbean-Spiced Shrimp with Pineaple Salsa

One of the most beautiful things about springtime is the enthusiasm for grilling.  In the scheme of my cooking life, grilling is a newer medium to me.  I am still learning. 

One of my longtime grilling goals has been to make shrimp that became "crusty" on the outside while remaining tender and juicy.

It's not as easy as it sounds! 

Shrimp cook very quickly so great care must be taken not to overcook them.  Because of this "quick cook" issue, it isn't always easy to encourage a nice crust.

So this has become my goal (ahem, obsession).

after hours of research, numerous juicy-but- not-crusty/crusty-but-dry trials, I think I may have learned the secret.


A combo of "fat and sugar" seems to promomote that allusive crunch/juice science.  The recipe you see below is the one I used.  However any combo of oil or butter and sugar could do the trick

So it is my inherent good nature that makes me willing to share this secret with you.  Just promise you won't tell anyone.

Caribbean-spiced Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa (Adapted from Coastal Living)

1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 T brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground fennel (optional)
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 pounds unpeeled jumbo shrimp (16-20 count)
2-3 T olive oil

Pineapple Salsa
1 pineapple, cored and cubed
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 jalapeno, chopped
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl.

Peel shrimp and toss in the bowl with spice mixture. Pour the olive oil in the bowl and toss until well coated.

Heat the grill to medium. Cook the shrimp 2-3 minutes each side, or until pink.  Do not overcook! Serve with Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple Salsa

Pulse pineapple in a food processor just until finely chopped. Place pineapple in a wire-mesh strainer, and let drain for 15 minutes. Transfer drained pineapple to a bowl; stir in onion and remaining ingredients.

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