It's still summer here in Florida so the outdoor grilling season is going full blast, just like the humidity. As much as we cook outdoors here, readers still have questions such as, should you leave shell on when grilling shrimp.
Shrimp Lots of people say yes because the shell keeps the shrimp from drying out. Uh, what keeps the shrimp from drying out is not leaving them on the grill too long. I think shrimp grilled in their shells are harder to peel. Roasting or boiling shrimp in their shells can intensify the flavor. But grilling adds a flavor of its own so you don't need the peels. If you'd like to save the shells and boil with water to make a stock that's oh-la-la for gumbo, go ahead. Otherwise peel and grill away (but leave the tails on for pretty presentation). Here's a recipe to try:
Lemon Grilled Shrimp
24 extra-large or jumbo shrimp
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch black pepper
8 skewers, metal or wooden
Peel shrimp, leaving on tails, and devein if you wish. Place in a bowl or sealable plastic bag. In a bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, parsley, garlic, lemon rind, mustard, cayenne and black pepper. Pour over shrimp. Close bag tightly; squeeze gently to coat shrimp well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove shrimp; heat marinade to a boil and then let cool for basting.
Thread each shrimp onto soaked wooden or metal skewer, pushing skewer through the shrimp near the tail and again at the other end to keep it secure. (Skewers can be made ahead to this point, covered and refrigerated for up to 4 hours. Cover and refrigerate marinade separately.)
Cook shrimp on greased grill on medium high, brushing often with marinade, for 2 minutes per side or until pink and firm to the touch.
Serves 6 to 8.
Source: Barbecue and Summer Foods Cookbook by Margaret Fraser (Random House, 1995)