Thursday, February 25, 2010

Grilled Shrimp with Peach Salsa


When our Cooking Light magazine arrived last August with pictures of skewered shrimp on the cover and the headline, “Fire up the coals: Great ideas for grilling tonight", I felt inspired to break out the Smokey Joe and attempt my first grilled seafood and vegetables. The recipe for Fiery Grilled Peach and Habanero Salsa sounded particularly appealing, and although it was suggested as an accompaniment for grilled pork, chicken, or striped bass, I decided that shrimp were the way to go. The Gastronomer and I have been enamored with shrimp for quite some time—their ease of preparation and luxurious flavor and texture when cooked properly put them at the top of our list of weeknight dinner proteins.

I consulted my old friend The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook for tips on grilling the shrimp. The preparation was simple—I placed 5-6 shrimp on each skewer, brushed on vegetable oil and seasoned them with salt and pepper, and then grilled them for about 3 minutes on each side over a medium-hot fire. The peach salsa was a great compliment to the shrimp; we served them together over rice.

Recipe by Cooking Light, August 2009

Peach Habanero Salsa
  • 4 large peeled peaches, halved and pitted (about 1 pound)
  • 2 (1/4 inch thick) slices red onion
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1 finely chopped seeded habanero pepper (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Prepare grill to medium-high heat. Lightly coat peaches and onion with cooking spray. Place peaches and onion on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill peaches 2 minutes on each side. Cool and chop peaches. Grill onion 3 minutes on each side. Cool and chop onion. Combine peaches, onion, cilantro, and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl; toss well. Let stand 15 minutes.

Yield: 15 servings
Estimated Start-to-Finish Time: Not given
Actual Start-to-Finish Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (this included preparing and grilling the shrimp)
Substitutions: The original recipe only called for 1 teaspoon of chopped habanero, but we found that it wasn't too crazy spicy even with twice this much. I left out the cilantro, because while the speckles of green make a dish's appearance more interesting, it doesn't do much for the taste, and it always seems like a waste to buy a big bunch and only use a couple of tablespoons.

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