At the beginning of summer, I was incredibly wary about shrimp. I had eaten them here and there but never more than a couple at a time – they weirded me out. Totally abnormal, I know, but crustaceans were one of those things I adamantly refused to eat as a kid and I was still getting used to them. After my time on the East Coast this summer (where I gladly ate a few of these), my crustacean avoidance has disappeared. Realizing this, I have been incredibly excited to see what I can do with these babies!
When I’m not quite sure what to do with an ingredient, I usually ask my dad. For this recipe, which was a last-minute dinner one night when I couldn’t decide what to make, I looked at what we had in the fridge and my dad’s Citrus Chicken immediately came to mind. Using what we had, I gave my shrimp a nice citrus, cayenne, and – why not? – tequila bath, based loosely on his recipe.
serves 2-4 as an appetizer
These shrimp would be the perfect appetizer at a backyard BBQ, accompanied by (of course) a fresh Margarita.
1 large tomato, peeled and seeded
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup tequila
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
salt to taste
1 pound raw shrimp
1. Prepare the marinade: zest the entire orange and entire lime, then juice each. Add zest and juice to bowl. Grate the tomato (use a Microplane or cheese grater), catching all the pulp and juice in the bowl with the citrus. Add the tequila, garlic, thyme, and cayenne, and stir to combine. Add salt to taste.
2. Peel shrimp and, if necessary, devein. Keep the tails on – this helps them qualify as finger food. Place shrimp in gallon-size Ziplock bag and pour marinade in. Make sure the marinade coats all the shrimp, and let the shrimp marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
3. Remove shrimp from bag, reserving marinade, and place in grill basket or on skewers (if you skewer them with wooden skewers, make sure to soak the skewers in water for an hour first).
4. Grill the shrimp – they need about 3-4 minutes per side, depending on their size. Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a pan and bring to a boil – instant dipping sauce!
5. Serve shrimp with sauce on the side – and a Margarita, too!