Monday, September 1, 2008

Great shrimp, so-so recipe

I am about to complain about a meal I thoroughly enjoyed.
Does that mean I've reached a higher level of bitching? Am I a philosopher king of whining?
Don't know, but I do wish I liked my meal more than I did.
The other day, the missus spotted head-on Gulf shrimp at the grocery store. Although I didn't know what to do with them at that moment, we bought a pound with the understanding that they'd end up on the grill.
We settled on a recipe from "Grilled to Perfection," the cookbook from the folks behind License to Grill, one of the best grilling shows on TV.
So far so good, right?
Not wanting to work too hard, we went with the gin-marinated grilled shrimp recipe. I substituted mint for cilantro and kept the heads and shells on the shrimp, but otherwise followed the recipe.
The result: great grilled shrimp ... that tasted nothing like gin. It didn't taste like any of the other marinade ingredients either.
Like I said, though, the shrimp were great. Of course, they would've been great without the marinade and I wouldn't be out a 1/2 cup of my favorite gin.
I appreciate subtle flavors as much, if not more, than the next guy. But in this case, the marinade's flavors weren't subtle, they were lost.

Gin-marinaded grilled shrimp
(From "Grilled to Perfection" by Chris Knight and Tyler J. Smith)

20 medium-sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup gin
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp. garlic, minced

Place the shrimp in a large sealable plastic bag. Mix together the remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour into the bag over the shrimp. Toss to coat well and refrigerate for no more than 30 minutes.

Preheat the grill to high -- 400F.
Remove the shrimp from the marinade. Season with salt to taste. Place the shrimp on the grill and cook until they are no longer translucent on one side, approximately 1-2 minutes.

Turn and continue to cook for another minute or two until slightly golden brown and cooked through.

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