Often times people think of things like brisket, pulled pork and big fat steaks when they think of food cooked on the grill. They think of bratwurst and burgers and dogs, but grilling doesn’t have to revolve around massive cuts of beef and pork or things that require a bun. Grilling can have a more refined side. It doesn’t have to be a robust flavor of a jerk rib with lots of zip along with an ample smoke ring. For a much more sophisticated meal I’ll hand it off to my dad. And just because it’s sophisticated doesn’t mean it has to be difficult because this is not hard to do…
This is a very simple, quick grilling effort good anytime. Two dozen Gulf Shrimp, from Skinner’s Seafood in Dauphin Island, Alabama, were peeled and de-veined:
One stick of salted butter (you could use unsalted butter instead if you prefer, but it could be a little bland so throw in a pinch) plus a heaping spoonful of minced garlic added to the saucepan to melt and combine:
Olive oil could work but I’m going for that magic that hot butter creates when married with the shrimp. Once the butter-garlic mixture has cooled a bit (I don’t want to pre-cook the shrimp!) it’s time to give the shrimp a “butter bath”. Thoroughly stir the shrimp and butter mixture to coat the now happy shrimp:
I allow the mixture to bathe the shrimp for 30-45 minutes prior to grilling. For additional flavor you could add lemon-pepper or whatever seasoning you prefer in case you wanted to kick it up a notch ala Emeril. In the past I have substituted garlic salt for the minced garlic and will comment on that later after the dish is finished. Butter and shrimp—there’s something simply wonderful about that combination and now we’re going to add grilled flavor to the mix.
Homegrown yellow squash will be grilled as a delicious side The squashed is washed, trimmed, sliced and lightly drizzled with olive oil to coat both sides then fresh ground pepper and coarse salt are added and the side dish is ready for the grill:
Mimi is preparing another side dish—leftover risotto pan-fried with Panko bread crumbs with a little egg wash applied. We were served this at a dining establishment while on vacation in Michigan (we didn’t grill every night) and decided to try a home version:
The Brinkman was fired up and it was time to grill. I chose the Brinkman because it has an upper grate where the cooked squash can remain while the shrimp are being grilled.
Wine choice was an un-oaked Australian Chardonnay:
I would also suggest a dry Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc or really whatever white wine you prefer. The Grillin Fools aren’t wine snobs—we just like a good tasting wine with our grilled foods as well as a good cold beer.
The squash was placed directly over a medium hot to hot fire. The temperature of the fire can fluctuate here as long as you keep an eye on the squash. You are looking for a good grill mark on them and then flip. Cooking times will vary depending on how how the fire is. Here are the squash when first placed on the grill:
Keep peaking at the squash until you see a nice char from the hot fire and flip them over as some were flipped here. The fire was much hotter in the back and those were done first:
Once a slice of squash has a good char on it place it on the upper grate. Once all the squash is done put the shrimp in a grill pan and place on the grill:
Be careful here as the butter is very flammable and can cause flareups:
The shrimp were grilled till opaque and pink and a bit firm and then it was time to serve up dinner:
The taste test of what you grill will ultimately be the true judge of your effort. Here’s the verdict on this creation. The shrimp really picked up a grilled flavor from the charcoal fire without using any smoking wood. I’ve decided I prefer the garlic salt method over the minced garlic—strictly a personal preference but the shrimp were still quite delicious this time.
The fried risotto cakes were just super. We will be working on a lemon-butter-cream sauce for that dish in the future.
The squash was a big disappointment. I sliced it too thin and it lost texture when grilled. I should’ve halved or quartered the squash and it would’ve been fine. The flavor was great but the wimpy texture left a lot to be desired.
The Grillin Fools do screw up—we’re just backyard grillers like most of you and we do make mistakes, except when we do we document it and show the world so they don’t make the same mistakes. The important thing is to learn from each experience and not repeat mistakes over and over again, or completely sidestep the mistakes because we showed you where we went wrong. We actually show our mistakes on this site as a matter of integrity and reality as well as to assist you in not making the same error. We do not always attempt a recipe several times to get it right so we can show perfection. Many of the posts you see here are first-time efforts by us.
Whether you appreciate this honesty or not, please be assured it will always be there in what we do. We enjoy grilling as it is our passion and we simply want to pass that along to you so you can experience thrillin’, grillin’ and ok….a little chillin’ as well without repeating the mistakes we have made over the years.
***Editor’s note ~ I actually love my squash done this way. It is a great, quick, light side dish. I think Dad prefers it more al dente but if you like your veggies cooked through then this is a great option as it is. You can cut it thicker if you want al dente, but you don’t have to. It’s good both ways depending on your personal preference***
As usual, if you have any questions or comments about this dish please feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email.