Jamaican Spicy Grilled Jerk Shrimp
This spicy recipe could be prepared on the grill or under the broiler if the weather isn’t cooperating. Don’t marinate the shrimp for more than an hour or the lemon will begin to “cook” them. This can be served as an appetizer with two shrimp per skewer or as an entrée with a half dozen shrimp. Traditionally, jerk is cooked over pimento (allspice) wood.
For the Jerk Spice:
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
2 scallions, finely sliced
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 habanero or Scotch Bonnet chile, seeded and finely minced
Zest and juice of one lemon (two tablespoons juice; one tablespoon zest)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground allspice
Whisk all of the ingredients for the jerk spice mixture together in a bowl, at left. (This spice mixture also works well for chicken or pork.)
For the Shrimp:
1 pound large (31-35) shrimp
Jerk spice mixture
1 lime cut into wedges, for garnish
Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails attached. Add the shrimp to the jerk spice and stir to combine. Marinate the shrimp for 15 minutes or up to one hour.
While the shrimp is marinating, soak bamboo skewers in warm water, wine, or beer for 30 minutes. After the shrimp has marinated, thread them onto the bamboo skewers.
Heat your grill to medium-high. Grill the shrimp skewers for about three to four minutes per side or until barely opaque. The shrimp could also be cooked under the broiler or in a stovetop grill pan.
Yield: 4 servings
Heat Scale: Hot
Grilled Chipotle Shrimp
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 (7-ounce) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/4 cup adobo sauce
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons tequila
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Mince two of the canned chipotles. In a small saucepan, bring them, the brown sugar, the adobo sauce, garlic, water, lime juice, oil and salt to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for three minutes, while stirring. Remove the mixture from the heat. Let it cool completely. (Note: One seven-ounce can of chipotles in adobo yields about 10 chiles and 1 1/2 tablespoons of sauce.)
Place the shrimp in a medium bowl and add the marinade. Stir the shrimp until they’re coated. Marinate the shrimp for 15 minutes to one hour.
Drain and discard the marinade. Thread the shrimp onto metal or soaked wooden skewers. Preheat the grill for medium-high cooking. Grease the grates with oil. Grill the shrimp, covered, for six to eight minutes or until the shrimp turn pink, turning once. These shrimp could also be cooked on a grill pan or under the broiler, about four inches from the heat. They’re also great for tacos or tostadas!
Yield: 3 to 4 servings
Heat Scale: Hot
Adobo sauce is a piquant sauce and marinade used in Mexican and Southwestern cuisines. The main ingredients are chile peppers (usually chipotle or ancho), garlic, and vinegar. There are also numerous regional variations, some of which include tomatoes, onions and a variety of herbs and spices. Mexican or Southwestern adobo sauce is not the same as Filipino adobo, which is stewed chicken and pork in a vinegary soy sauce.
Eight dried ancho or chipotle chiles
Oil for cooking
One cup diced yellow onion (about one medium onion)
Six cloves garlic, peeled and diced
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup white vinegar
12 cups water
3/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon freshly ground smoked black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
Remove the tops and seeds from the chiles. Heat a skillet over medium heat and coat it with oil. Cook the chiles for about ten seconds per side or until fragrant. Place the chiles in a stockpot. Add the vinegar and water, then soak the chiles for at least eight hours.
After soaking, drain the chiles and discard the soaking solution. Purée the chiles in a small food processor, adding some of the chicken stock to form into a paste. In a large skillet or saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat until softened. Next, add the chile paste, stock, black pepper, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, salt, vinegar and lemon juice, and orange juice.
Simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. You can store the sauce, covered and refrigerated, for up to two months.