GREEN LIGHTNING SHRIMP

Source: BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 2003)
Method: Direct
Yield: Serves 6
Advance Preparation: 30 minutes for marinating the shrimp

2-1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed, stemmed, and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
4 to 8 jalapeno peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped (for hotter shrimp, leave
the seeds in)
1 bunch scallions, both white and green parts, trimmed and coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic (3 cloves coarsely chopped, 2 cloves minced)
1-1/2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter
Lime wedges, for serving

You’ll also need:
About 12 long (10- to12-inch) metal or bamboo skewers

1. Rinse the shrimp under cold running water and then drain and blot them dry with paper towels. Peel and devein the shrimp. Thread the shrimp onto 2 parallel skewers, using 2 skewers for each kebab. Arrange the kebabs in a nonreactive baking dish.

2. Set aside 3 tablespoons of the cilantro for the garlic cilantro butter. Place the remaining cilantro, the jalapenos, scallions, chopped garlic, salt, black pepper, and cumin in a food processor and finely chop. With the machine running, add the olive oil and lime juice through the feed tube and puree to a bright green paste. Pour this marinade over the shrimp and let them marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 30 minutes, turning the kebabs several times so they marinate evenly.

3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and the 3 tablespoons of reserved cilantro and cook until the garlic is fragrant and sizzling, but not browned, about 2 minutes. Keep the garlic cilantro butter warm until ready to use.

4. Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.

5. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Drain the marinade from the shrimp kebabs and discard the marinade. Place the shrimp kebabs on the hot grate and grill until just cooked through, 1 to 3 minutes per side, basting with the garlic cilantro butter. When done, the shrimp will turn pinkish white and feel firm to the touch. Transfer the grilled shrimp to a platter or plates, pour any of the remaining butter sauce over them, and serve with the lime wedges.

© 2006 Steven Raichlen | site design Benjamin Wilchfort