I love firing up my grill to make quick, simple, and delicious meals for my family. I especially love grilling fish and seafood, which takes quick into lightening mode. Unfortunately, the difference between a fast and flavorful meal and rubbery seafood that's overcooked can be a challenge to master ... unless you have a few tricks up your sleeve!
When grilling shrimp, I have three arrows in my quiver:
- Leave the shells on the shrimp! Those shells serve as a shield against the high heat of the grill. Peel and eat them at the table ... it's a summer tradition anyway!
- Use a flavorful marinade to season your shrimp and to help lock in flavor. It's also the best way to season shrimp still in their shells.
- Grill your shrimp on a hot cast iron griddle. You won't have all that marinade falling into the fire and causing flare-ups, you'll protect the shrimp from being overcooked, and you won't have shrimp falling through the grates.
The marinade I used here is a simple lemon-garlic blend that helps define my summer. It's light, refreshing, and simple to put together. I usually have a bag or two of lemons on hand throughout the warmer months and I've been known to make some fresh lemonade to pair with this super quick meal. I pop the shrimp in the marinade in the middle of the afternoon, make some fresh lemonade, and then the shrimp goes on the grill as soon as everyone is home and relaxing out on the patio.
A fresh late spring salad featuring tender greens, asparagus, radishes, peas, and other seasonal vegetables is often paired with grilled shrimp like this. Pour a glass or three of the aforementioned lemonade and you've got yourself a quintessential backyard summer meal to enjoy!
- 1 lb. large shrimp, shells on
- Juice of 2 lemons (about ¼ cup juice)
- 3-5 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ c. canola oil or other high smoke point oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- ¼-½ tsp. crushed red pepper
Place the shrimp in a large, sealable container. Add the remaining ingredients and toss well to coat the shrimp. Allow the shrimp to marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Heat your grill to medium heat and place a cast iron griddle over the flames to preheat. When the grill and griddle are hot, place the shrimp on the hot griddle. Close the grill and set a timer for 2 minutes. Flip the shrimp and allow them to cook another 2 minutes before removing them to a serving plate.
- Yields: 2-3 servings
- Preparation Time: 15 minutes, plus marinating time