Melissa’s Grilling Lesson #1: Grilled Shrimp and Veggies

In just 30 minutes, this tangy marinade adds a refreshingly spicy kick to meats, poultry, seafood and veggies. All-natural herbs and spices – including Bay Leaves, Rosemary, Coriander and more – blend with a splash of lime to add flair to dishes like fish tacos, flank steak and veggie stir-fry.

dash-shrimp-1Once a week my eldest daughter cooks dinner at our home.  It’s a great time to sit down with the entire family and enjoy a meal. A week ago she asked if she could learn to grill and barbecue some of the meals over the rest of the meal.

Since none of my children have shown a lot of interest over the years I’m jumping at the chance to teach her a few things about outdoor cooking.  She thought I was passing the family grilling torch on to her but I quicklydash-shrimp-5 informed Melissa she was lighting her own torch.

The week before I received some samples of the new Mrs. Dash 10 minute marinades and since Melissa chose grilled shrimp for her first lesson I figured using one of the new marinades would give her the chance to concentrate on grilling one of the harder proteins to get correct on the grill.

I’m not a huge fan of marinades for the meats I grill.  Based on experience I just don’t think they do all that much as far as infusing flavor deep into the meat. (Check out this great article on marinades from Amazing Ribs.) One of the exceptions to my feelings on marinades is seafood, especially shrimp.  Shrimp takes most marinades very well.

Melissa chose the Garlic Lime flavor of  Mrs. Dash Marinade.  One of the great aspects of using the new Mrs. Dash marinades is they are salt free, MSG free and have no high fructose corn syrup for those who care about those types of things. Melissa used a light coating of the marinade on the shrimp after she peeled it.  I got the job of de-veining the shrimp after I explained to her what it actually was.  We left the marinade on for the 10 minutes called for in dash-shrimp-4the directions.  You would not want to go much longer anyway, because the citrus will start to “cook” the shrimp.

We were going to use wooden or metal skewers to grill the veggies but just before starting the tedious process of skewering the veggies a little voice in my head, that sounded a lot like Barry Martin, said “why are you putting those veggies on a skewers when you’re just going to have to take them off to eat them.”

We decided the easiest way to learn about grilling veggies would be in a grill pan.  The grill pan is a fantastic way to grill a bunch of cut up veggies because all you have to do is stir them.  It’s so much easier than turning each  piece of bell pepper, onions and dash-shrimp-3zucchini.  It’s especially important when you have Barry Martin’s voice in your head telling you its such a waste of time to use skewers.

The veggies were chopped a rather large and coated with Avocado Oil from Chosen-Foods. You’ll be reading more about the wonderful health benefits of Avocado Oil over the next couple months since Chosen-Foods has become the first officially endorsed product of Embers and Flame.) After the avocado oil all Melissa did we sprinkle with a little kosher salt and on to a hot grill.

Melissa also wanted grilled pineapple.  I couldn’t complain, at all, about the ingredient choices she made.  Grilled pineapple is one of my favorite fruits to grill.  The natural sugars of pineapple caramelize and gives a great flavor, better than any other fruit I know of.  When combined with the garlic and lime it actually make a really nice combination.  Melissa used fresh pineapple, which is the only way to go, that was peeled, sliced and cored.
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Shrimp cooks fast and it’s one of the more difficult proteins for a novice griller to get correct.  I decided to teach Melissa a technique I learned from Chef John Besh in My New Orleans: The Cookbook.  The technique is described in his recipe for Jambalaya.

He doesn’t actually cook the shrimp as part of the Jambalaya, instead he cooks the Jambalaya without the shrimp and when everything is done he removes the pan from the heat source, adds the shrimp and uses the residual heat from the hot food to cook the shrimp.  It works like a charm on Jambalaya and works great on other dishes like Melissa grilled.

The marinaded shrimp were grilled on a hot grill for about two minutes per side and then added to the veggies in the grill pan.  I had her turn off the heat, move the grill pan to a cold side of the grill and close the lid.  Using this technique she had perfectly cooked shrimp with her slightly al dente grilled veggies.  We quickly tossed all the cooked ingredients in a dash of marinade and served them over a bed of steamed white rice and the grilled pineapple.

The only other thing we needed was a sauce for the rice.  I mixed equal parts marinade with water and tossed in some melted butter and the juice left over from cutting up the pineapple.  It actually worked pretty well. All and all a great meal for a first time griller.  I’m excited and happy Melissa wants to learn more about outdoor cooking.

Next week I think we are going to tackle grilled fish tacos.

Here are a couple more recipes for you to try:

NOTE: This is post is partially the result of a partnership with Mrs. Dash and a paid partnership with Chosen-Foods.

1 Comment on Melissa’s Grilling Lesson #1: Grilled Shrimp and Veggies

  1. This looks Dee-Lish-Us!

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