Cooking with Chris
Eat Fresh, Get Your Chef On…By Chris Warren
Hopefully after reading my earlier article about seafood in Xela (see here), you’re feeling bold and ready to head to the Demo to grab a meal of mariscos. If you’re in need of a little inspiration on how to take your seafood to the next level, today we’re going to learn how to make Grilled Shrimp.
To get your grill ready there are a couple of important things to remember (I’m assuming you do actually have a grill). If not…GO GET ONE at your nearest hardware store. It’s a way better investment than a box of liters and it’s actually cheaper. First make sure to clean all the charred crap off of the grill grates with a stiff wire brush. Contrary to popular belief, that is not where the “delicious smoke flavor” originates. Then, be sure to clean out whatever air vents you may have on the bottom of the grill. This ensures that you a nice hot, even flame.
The next step is getting the coals started. The easiest way to do this is to get some wood lump charcoal (Carbon) and fire starter (the little bundles of pine wood at the market). Take the grill grate off and build up a nice big conical pile of charcoal with a 1-2 inch hole in the middle. Use more charcoal than you think you’ll need since it’s much easier to deal with more heat than less heat when you’re grilling. Once you’ve got a chimney of charcoal, light a few thin pieces of the pine and stick them down in the middle, lighting the coals from the inside. Once about 2/3 of the coals are red hot and ashy, go ahead and spread them around, taking care to flip over the coals so the hot side is facing up. Also make sure to remove whatever of the starter wood is still unburned, because otherwise your otherwise delicious food will taste like a Christmas tree. Now all you need to do is spread a bunch of vegetable oil over the top of the grill with a paper towel so the food doesn’t stick (taking care not to start a big grease fire) and you’re READY TO GRILL.
This time around, let’s keep it simple. Let’s grill up some shrimp. Starting with 2 lbs of peeled shrimp, get a small bowl and smash up 1 large clove of peeled garlic with a tablespoon of coarse salt. Then mix in a bit of cayenne (or other spicy pepper) and some paprika if you have it, if not no biggie, just throw on some pepper. Then stir in a couple tablespoons of olive oil and a couple teaspoons of lime juice. Then, once you have a nice paste, toss the peeled shrimp in there until they’re nicely coated. Then, stick them either directly on the grill or on skewers, cook them for 2-3 minutes on each side and enjoy!
For those feeling a bit more ambitious, tune in next month for grilled sea bass and calamari with a mescal salsa.