Has a recipe ever called out to you? It happens to me fairly often. As I leaf through a new cookbook, a recipe will catch my eye, and suddenly I'm a man with a mission. "That's it! I have to make that!"
*Next comes a comparison of the ingredients list with the food in my pantry, usually followed by an urgent grocery run. It gets really bad when I'm in the grip of a new recipe mania, and events conspire against me. (Like, say, kids with t-ball games, multi-hour recipes I discover on a weeknight, or thunderstorms when I need to grill.) I'm an addict, and I need my cooking fix. It's not pretty.
I had this experience with Matt Armendariz's On a Stick. I took one look at the picture of Red Curry Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers, and I knew what was for dinner. I had everything except for the pineapple. A quick trip to the grocery store, and I was cooking.
Later, after dinner, I took the time to actually read the recipe. Whoops. So much for reviewing the book. In my cooking frenzy, I took the title to Matt's recipe and wandered off on a different path. This is more of an "inspired by" recipe than I originally intended.
*Sorry, Matt. I still love your cookbook - there aren't many that get me this excited about a new recipe.
Recipe: Grilled Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers with Coconut Curry Baste
Adapted From: Matt Armendariz On a Stick!
Cook time: 8 minutes
- Grill (I use a Weber Summit. Here is the current version of my grill.)
- Skewers (I like metal skewers, but bamboo will work as well, as long as you soak them first)
- 2 pounds 13-15 count shrimp, peeled (or as small as 21-25 count, but no smaller)
- 1 pineapple, peeled, trimmed, and cut into chunks the same thickness as the shrimp
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
Coconut Curry Baste
- half of a 15oz can of coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
1. Prep the skewers and the baste: Peel the shrimp and slice the pineapple. Thread the pineapple and shrimp, alternating between the two, onto the skewers. Start and end each skewer with a piece of pineapple - it holds onto the skewers better than the shrimp. Sprinkle the skewers lightly on both sides with the kosher salt. Put the curry baste ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk until blended.
*I use leftover pineapple to make pineapple skewers. I don't salt them, or baste them with the coconut curry; plain grilled pineapple tastes great.
2. Prepare the grill: Set the grill up for cooking at medium-high heat. For my Weber Summit, I preheat the grill with all burners on high for 15 minutes. Then I clean the grates with my grill brush, and turn the burners down to medium-high.
3. Cook the skewers: Put the skewers on the grill over direct medium-high heat, and cook for three minutes, or until the pineapple and shrimp are starting to brown. Flip the skewers and cook for another three minutes, until browned on the other side. Brush the skewers with the curry baste, flip the skewers, brush the other side with the baste, and cook for one minute. Brush again with the curry baste, flip the skewers, brush the other side with the baste, and cook for one more minute. Remove the skewers to a platter, and brush one last time with the baste. Let the skewers rest for five minutes, then serve.
*Marinade: In Mr. Armendariz's original version, the red curry baste was a red curry marinade. After trimming and peeling the pineapple and shrimp, marinate them in the baste for 30 minutes. Skewer them, and proceed with the rest of the recipe, sprinkling with the salt when the skewers are done cooking.
*13 to 15 count shrimp means 13 to 15 shrimp per pound. You can go as small as 21-25 count, but any smaller and the shrimp will be overcooked before the pineapple has a chance to brown.
What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
Matt Armendariz On a Stick!
(And check out Matt's website: MattBites.com)
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