Grilled Shrimp Kebabs

Grilled Shrimp Kabobs

Grilled Shrimp Kabobs

I know I haven’t posted a new recipe in awhile, but Mama took a little vacation. I’m funny when it comes to leaving home, and that’s why I hardly ever leave. I find the whole traveling process very stressful, especially when there’s airline travel involved.  But, little did I know that a lovely little paradise existed 22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles.

A group of my friends (Cindy, Roberta, Wendy and Lauren) go to Catalina for a week every summer.  I’ve been invited to go in the past, but I had envisioned Catalina to be nothing special, so I always declined. But for some reason my husband, and I and son #2 decided to give it a try. Well, Mama was pleasantly surprised. Actually more than just pleasantly.

Catalina is very easy to reach, no muss, no fuss. One hour on the Catalina Express and you arrive in Avalon Harbor. There’s very few cars on the island, and most people get around by golf cart.  The city center is very quaint, and filled with small restaurants, shops, bars and markets. Nothing fancy mind you, but keep in mind this is a very low-key, stress-free vacation. But what wow-ed me the most was the island’s natural beauty.  Sunshine every day, bright blue skies and water clear enough to see fish, dolphins and plenty of seals. And guess what…I can’t wait to go back.

My inspiration for this week’s recipe came from the Pacific Ocean. I find the visual, as well as the sound and smell of the ocean so relaxing. How better to pay homage to the Pacific than with a shrimp recipe of course!

Grilled Shrimp Kabobs

Grilled Shrimp Kabobs

Grilled Shrimp Kabobs

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined (leave the tail shell on)
  • 1 large green pepper, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion cut into 1″ pieces
  • fresh pineapple cut into 1″ chunks, or you can use a 15 ounce can of pineapple, with the juice drained
  • Metal skewers, or wooden skewers soaked in water

Directions

  1. Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tail shell on. Rinse the shrimp under cold water then dry with a paper towel and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients, except the shrimp, vegetables and pineapple. Pour off 1/4 cup of the marinade, and reserve for basting the shrimp on the grill.
  3. Place the shrimp in a resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade in the bag, coating all the shrimp.  Place the bag in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Take your skewers and thread the shrimp on the skewers, piercing the shrimp through the center, with both the front and tail portion going through the skewer. Thread on a piece of pineapple, then another shrimp, then the green pepper and onion. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Place the completed skewers on a metal baking sheet.
  5. Spray your grill with cooking spray so the shrimp won’t stick, and heat the grill to medium high.
  6. Place your skewers on the grill and baste with the remaining marinade. Turn the skewers so the shrimp cook evenly on each side. All grills are different, so cook the shrimp until they are pink on the outside. Be very careful not to overcook the shrimp as they will become rubbery. As soon as they are no longer opaque, they are done.
  7. Serve immediately from the grill.

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Mama’s Tips

If you’re going to use wooden skewers for these kabobs, soak them in water for an hour or two so that they won’t burn when you put them on the grill.

To devein the shrimp, run a pairing knife down the back of the shrimp. You will see the black vein. Using the tip of your knife, cut out the vein and discard.

Always spray your grill with a little cooking spray, or brush lightly with some olive oil so that the shrimp don’t stick to the grill.

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Recipe: Easy


Cedar Planked Salmon…It’s All About the Plank

It’s funny how things evolve in your life. I cringe a little when I think back to the days when I was single. When I was 25, I moved by myself from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. I quickly got an apartment and a job as a secretary in Century City. Food was not even on my radar. I would grab a sandwich on my lunch break, and then on my way back home to the valley, I would stop at McDonald’s for a hamburger and fries. I never cooked, and there was never any food in my refrigerator. And then I met Neil.

This guy loved food. Every meal was an adventure with him. He liked to go out to nice restaurants, he loved to entertain guests, and he could cook. I mean he could really, really cook. So, over the past twenty-five years, he’s taught me everything he knows about food, and that’s a lot. But where he really shines is behind the barbecue. It’s funny, but when we get invited to people’s houses for a barbecue they’ll ask Neil to do the cooking. He makes a killer grilled salmon with herb butter that he cooks on a cedar plank. By cooking on the plank the fish will retain its moisture and the plank imparts a delicious, smokey flavor. If you’ve never cooked on a cedar plank before then I insist you give it a try.

I have purchased my cedar planks from Williams Sonoma, and also from Home Depot. You can also check online, they are not hard to find.

Cedar Planked Salmon with Herb Butter

1 cedar plank

1 salmon filet (I always buy from Costco)

Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

herb butter (recipe to follow)

Recipe

1. Soak your plank, weighted down in the sink or a dish filled with water, fruit juice, or wine for 4 hours. This will keep the plank from burning. I soaked my plank in salted water. Before cooking, dry off plank and brush cooking side with oil to prevent fish from sticking.

2. Heat your grill to medium.

3 Wash, and pat dry salmon filet. I removed the skin.

4. Season fish with salt and pepper and dot the surface with the herb butter.

5. Place fish on the plank, and cook on grill with the lid closed for about 30 minutes until the salmon flakes easily with a fork.

Herb Butter

1/2 cup softened butter

1 teaspoon each of finely mined basil, thyme and parsley

In a small bowl mix all ingredients together until combined

Grilled asparagus and zucchini are a perfect compliment to the fish