Been eating a bit unhealthy lately and needed to get back on the “I worked really hard to drop all that weight, don’t let yourself put that crap back on” train. In true Cookin’ For Dudes style, this has very few ingredients, comes together fast, and your significant other will think you did something really nice for her (or him or them...whatever is appropriate).
- She often uses ingredients available only to people who live in some foodie fantasy world where shit like “agave tequila” is commonplace (the original recipe for this dish calls for exactly that).
- Her recipes are rather...polite. I kinda like stuff that is a little more brute force.
But that’s nibbling around the edges. The foundations of her individual recipes are really, really good. So...here goes...
1 orange, zested, peeled and cut into supremes
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/2 white onion, minced...like, cut it as fine as you can without losing a finger tip
1/2 serrano, minced (see onion)
1 tsp honey
Mint leaves, minced
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lime, juiced
1 lb 16-20 count shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
salt and pepper
Get a grill or a grill pan going over medium heat.
Big Ass Important Note (BAIN) #1: If you’re using a grill pan, you can just throw the shrimp in. If using a proper grill, you’ll want to soak some bamboo skewers in water for about 10 minutes until they’re saturated. Skewer the shrimp in two spots so they don’t just spin on the damn skewer. It makes grilling easier.
BAIN #2: If you’re using a grill pan on a stovetop, heat it up slow. Start it over low heat. After about 5 minutes, bump it up to medium-low. Then another 3 minutes and bang it up to medium. I saw someone suggest this on some show (no recollection of who) as a way to get the pan to heat more evenly. It seems to work.
Dump the shrimp in a bowl, give it a glug of olive oil, hit it with some salt and pepper and then toss it well by hand. Actually, you can toss it with whatever tools you want to use (tongs, spoons, skillsaw...do you). I prefer using my hands because I can feel whether the shrimp is coated with the olive oil. Set the shrimp aside.
Zest the orange and throw it in a medium bowl. Cut both ends of the orange and peel it using a paring knife. Then carefully cut it into supremes. Dump the supremes in the bowl with the zest. After you’re done with that, take the orange carcass in your hand, hold it over the bowl the shrimp is in, and give it a squeeze so a little citrusy goodness gets mixed in. Toss that disgusting thing in your hand away.
Add the garlic, onion, serrano and honey in a bowl and give it a stir. Now add the mint and cilantro. I use 5-7 mint leaves (depending on how big the leaves are). I don’t want to be walloped by the mint. I just want a little minty freshness happening.
Totally Unimportant Note #1: use whatever kind of onion you got. It’ll work fine. However, white onions are generally insecure and make up for it by aggressively asserting themselves. You know that co-worker you have who sits 3 desks away and is always loudly telling everyone how everything in his life is just AWESOME but you’re left wondering if everything’s so damn awesome why do you have to so forcefully insist that it is? That’s the white onion. The red onion is just kinda cocky but without the fiery bravado of the white onion. The yellow onion is kinda shy and sweet. You know that guy you dated for awhile in high school who treated you like royalty which was cool for awhile but eventually was just mushy and boring (that pretty much sums me up in high school)...that’s the yellow onion...good in controlled doses but you start looking for something more adventurous after awhile.
BAIN #3: I have no clue how much cilantro I really used. Also, I like a lot of cilantro. Strip the leaves off of two healthy sprigs of cilantro, mince the hell out of it. Throw it in the bowl. Later, when you taste it, if you want more, you can always add it. Because there isn’t a store on earth that will sell you two sprigs of cilantro.
Give it a pinch of salt, a few grinds of pepper, squeeze in the lime juice, and a drizzle of olive oil. Stir it and give it a taste.
BAIN #4: If it isn’t hot enough or it’s too sweet, add some more serrano. If it’s too hot, give it a little more honey (sweet offsets heat and vice versa). If it’s hot but not grabbing you, add a little more onion. If it’s too vibrant, add some olive oil. If it isn’t vibrant enough, give it a little more salt. Most measurements in recipes (unless you’re baking) are complete bullshit. You gotta taste it and then figure out what’s too soft and turn it up or what’s too loud and turn it down.
Throw the shrimp in the grill pan. Give it two minutes and then flip the shrimp. Give it another two minutes. Try one. If it tastes a little under-cooked. Slap a lid over the pan (or close your grill) and give it another 30 seconds. The line between undercooked shrimp and overcooked and rubbery shrimp is really that narrow.
Remove the shrimp to a plate, and spoon generous amounts of the salsa over the top. You’re good...start eating. It’s a nice, refreshing dish with a welcome bite from the serrano to wake you up if you start dozing off.