Shrimp on the Barbie

Its been a strange week at the Cooksome house.  Daughter is home (also known as WonderGirl, though the older and more independent she gets, the less the “girl” moniker fits).  Daughter being home and having meals here complicates things as in she is a Vegetarian Who Doesn’t Eat Vegetables.

I know. Believe me, I’ve tried.  But she lives 2100 miles away.  There is only so much I can obsess about her diet. I’m about done with that.

It does mean that I need to make sure there is at least one starch-based dish at every meal, so she can have something to eat.

On the bright side, I do not consult her about the protein, which gives me much more freedom than when she was a Chicken Breast-Only Eater.

Thus, Tequila-Lime-Cilantro Shrimp!

I buy 1 pound bags of frozen raw easy-peel shrimp when it is on sale.  No, it is not as good as the shrimp that my friends on various coasts can get, but it will do here in landlocked country. It is a quick-cooking versatile protein: you can saute, fry, boil, broil, steam, grill, or bake it.  It cooks in literally minutes, and adapts well to a number of flavor profiles: asian, southen, cajun, french, italian, fusion, or BBQ.  It works in soup, salad, casserole, with pasta, on a kebab, and all by its little old lonesome.  It is delicious served either hot or cold.

Its a good go-to protein, and one of my favorite last-minute dinner secret weapons.  It can also be cooked with very little fat, if reducing fat is your goal, and is naturally low fat on its own.

This is how we are having it tonight:

Tequila-Lime-Cilantro Shrimp

1 lb peeled, deveined shrimp

Juice and zest of one lime

2-3 T of olive oil

Pinch of each: salt, pepper, crushed red pepper

Splash of tequila (or wine) (optional)

Handful of cilantro, chopped

Combine all ingredients except the shrimp in a small bow and stir together until combined. Pour this into a relsealable plastic bag, add the shrimp, removing the air from the bag before you seal it.  Smoosh it around a little to make sure the marinade gets all over the shrimp, put the bag on a plate and put it in the fridge.

Walk away.  Think about how delicious it is going to be. Next time you walk by the fridge, flip the bag over. If you are going to be marinating for a couple of hours, do this a couple more times.

You can marinate this in the morning, or at 3:00 in the afternoon like I did today.  It doesn’t matter.  It will still be delicious.

Possible substitutions: (I am all about the possible substitutions, especially if it means one less trip to the store! Think about the baby seals!)

  • You can use lemons if you don’t have limes, you can even use bottled citrus juice if you don’t have fresh citrus, or even orange juice.
  • Don’t like cilantro?  I don’t really understand how you can be alive and not like cilantro, but to each her own.  Try parsley, basil, thyme.  It changes the flavor profile, but you might discover something wonderful.
  • Don’t have olive oil?  Use plain old vegetable oil.
  • If you don’t cook with alcohol, use a splash of wonderful vinegar.

The shrimp can be grilled, broiled, cooked on the indoor contact grill, even sauteed.  The key is not to overcook shrimp.  As soon as it turns pink, it is done.  Three minutes later it is rubber.  And rubber is nasty.

Try it!  We’re having it tonight with corn on the cob and a salad.

Summer on a plate, baby.

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