In the last week or so after a dismal summer, we enjoyed some rare sunny warm days (at least in Worcestershire). Encouraging some of us to get the Barbecue out one last time for the year. People often view cooking seafood on a barbecue with great trepidation, but cooking "Shrimp on barbie" is easier than cooking chicken because it cooks in such a short time.
Of course any cooking on a barbecue is all about controlling the heat, even if it is a charcoal grill. As I've said before with a charcoal grill you create 3 heat zones (one third of the bbq with a lot of coals for high heat, one third with half the coals for a medium heat and leave the remaining third empty for your low heat zone).
This way you can move your food around and does not burn. See the links at the bottom for more of my tips on Barbecuing.
The combination of mint and garlic is a very Italian idea often used on plain grilled seafood. Sometimes with the addition of a little chili in the marinade it makes a wonderful counter point to the "pesto".
(Serves 4 as a starter)
20 uncooked large tiger shrimp or King prawns
3Tbsp olive oil
1Tbsp white wine
2Tbsp lemon juice
2 Garlic cloves peeled and chopped
1/2 small red chili de-seeded and finely chopped
60g (2 1/4oz) pine nuts toasted
2 cloves of garlic peeled
45g (3 Tbsp) grated fresh parmesan cheese
458g 16oz fresh mint leaves
Juice from one lemon
120ml (4 fluid oz) extra virgin olive oil
1. Peel and devein the shrimp but leave the very end of the tail on, wash and pat dry on paper towels.
2. Mix the ingredients of the marinade and then toss in the shrimp and put back in the fridge.
3. Prepare and light your barbecue and then begin making your pesto.
4. In a food processor combine the nuts, cheese and garlic and pulse until smooth
5. Add the mint and lemon juice and process again until smooth, stopping from time to time to scrap down the sides of the bowl.
6.Gradually add the oil and then season with salt and pepper.
7. Put four shimp on four 6 inch long skewers or *wooden Sate sticks, removing the excess marinade to prevent flair up.
8. Grill the Shrimp on the medium heat about 4 minutes per side and then remove fom the grill and rest on a warm plate for 2 minutes before serving.
9. Arrange skewer on each plate and then top with the mint pesto and serve.
When ever using wooden skewers on a Barbecue soak them in cold water the night before so they don't burn while the food cooks. If you don't have metal skewers or wooden sate sticks you can use rosemary branches in it's place. Just cut 7-8 inch woody branches from a rosemary bush and then remove most of the tender leaves leaving you with a rosemary scented skewer about 6 inches long. Just soak your rosemary skewers in cold water the same as you would do with any wooden skewer before using. If you wish to garnish the Shrimp I would use a few baby salad leaves, oven dried tomatoes and ripe avocado.
Improving your Barbecue skills
Mastering the art of Barbecuing part 1