A great recipe for seafood lovers, this garlic shrimp recipe features juicy shrimp which are marinated for an hour to infuse them with magical flavors. Cooking shrimp kabobs on a barbeque means they will get that wonderful smoky flavor which barbequed food is so famous for. Pretty much anything that can be grilled can be barbequed. You are swapping the clean efficiency of gas or electric for the enjoyable nature of barbequing, but for many people nothing compares to using a charcoal grill.
You get not only that smoky flavor but the satisfaction of cooking over fire, something man has been doing ever since the first piece of meat accidentally fell into the campfire and the cavemen liked the result! We have come a long way since those times but the original concept of cooking over flames has never stopped being popular, and we like to barbeque food today just as much as our ancestors did. Modern dishes might be a bit more refined, featuring marinades, rubs and other seasonings instead of just tossing the catch of the day on to the flames, but the basic principles have not changed.
If you want to prepare a seafood dish for your pescetarian guests or enjoy something different, this recipe is ideal. You can still cook steaks and chicken on the barbeque, but make these kabobs as well and everyone will be happy. The shrimp are marinated for an hour in a homemade marinade, before being threaded on to skewers and cooked on the barbeque. They will only take a couple of minutes per side to cook so keep an eye on them and flip them halfway through cooking. Do not overcook shrimp because they will toughen. This is a very easy recipe so if you are not quite ready for lobsters or crab on the barbeque (possible but more time-consuming and expensive!) then choose this shrimp kabob recipe and you will be delighted with the result.
Use medium-size shrimp for a good result. Larger ones will also work but they will take longer to cook. Smaller ones do not look so elegant and they are more time-consuming to thread on to the skewers. You can buy shelled, deveined shrimp or you can get whole ones and remove the shells and veins yourself, as you prefer. The fresh thyme in the recipe can be swapped for a tablespoon of dried thyme if you prefer, or you can swap the thyme for marjoram, oregano or rosemary for equally good results.
The marinade can be made up to a week in advance, and it is also good with beef or chicken. Only marinate the shrimp for an hour because marinating seafood is about adding flavor, not tenderizing meat, and an hour is long enough to infuse your shrimp with a lot of flavor. If you are using an acidic marinade the marinating time should be reduced further, because ingredients like lemon juice, lime juice or vinegar can start to ‘cook’ the shrimp and change its color and texture. There is a little balsamic vinegar in this recipe but not enough to harm the shrimp, so an hour is a good guideline for the marinating. This marinade makes ½ cup which is enough for about a pound of shrimp or meat.
- ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 lb raw, shelled and deveined shrimp
- Lemon wedges, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the barbeque to medium-hot.
- Whisk together everything except the shrimp, to make the marinade.
- This marinade can be kept covered and refrigerated for up to a week.
- Marinate the shrimp for an hour in this marinade, flipping the bag every now and then.
- If you are using metal skewers you should spray or brush them with oil.
- If you are using wooden skewers you should soak them in water for half an hour.
- Thread the marinated shrimp on to the skewers and grill until pink.
- This will take 2 or 3 minutes per side, depending on the size of the shrimp and the heat of the barbeque.
Cooking shrimp on the barbeque is the very best way to do them. Although you can fry, sauté or boil them, nothing beats that smoky aroma and flavor the barbeque gives. You can see how appetizing these pink shrimp are, when you look at the picture. Leaving the tails on is optional but many home cooks like to do this because they look elegant that way. Peel the rest of the shrimp though, else they are too messy and fiddly to eat, and the marinade will not work so well. Arrange the shrimp all facing the same way like in the photo for the best presentation of this tasty dish.
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