So, I needed to grill up a whole mess of shrimp appetizers (recipe below) for a cook-out yesterday. While shopping I found these kabob baskets on a clearance shelf fro $3 each (normally about $10 for a set of two on Amazon), and had an epiphany.
What I don’t like about grilling shrimp kabobs:
It takes up a lot of grill space.
- You’re constantly turning and keeping an eye on a lot of individual pieces of shrimp.
- I always forget to soak my skewers long enough.
- Served on the skewer (the way I like) can leave for sooty fingers, which my clients aren’t wild about.
What I like about shrimp kabobs:
- They’re awesome.
- They’re easy to eat.
- They help with portion control (ie: everyone gets some, without breaking the bank on shrimp gluttons!)
So, I had a thought…what if I grilled up a bunch of these beauties at a time, and THEN added them to the skewers for serving. Problem: now instead of a dozen or two skewers to keep track ff, I have a couple of hundred individual shrimp to keep turning and moving…and quickly! Shrimp will overcook or burn quicker than it takes to say, “Oh, S***!” Especially when marinated with an oil or alcohol base.
The solution? The kabob basket!
I loaded 40 large shrimp per basket, set them on the grill, and cooked about 2 minutes per side, flipping baskets (40 servings at a time) just three time each.
Open the baskets, a quick flip of the wrist, and all the shrimp were in the bowl ready to skewer!
The result? Enough appetizers to keep the whole crowd happy, in less than 20 minutes, AND I was able to work on other dishes at the same time!
Then, just pop a couple of the en of each clean skewer, spritz with some lemon juice, and sprinkle the whole platter with chopped parsley.
I will NEVER grill shrimp any other way again!
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Serves 40 (2 skewers each)
- 1/2 cup salted capers
- 1/2 cup basil leaves
- 6 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 lemons, zested and juiced
- Coarse ground black pepper
- 150 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
- Salt to taste
- Lemon juice for spritzing
- 1 cup cilantro leaves, minced
On a cutting board, finely chop the drained capers with the oregano leaves and garlic. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, along with the lemon zest and lemon juice. Season the sauce with pepper.
Place shrimp in a large zip bag, pour in the marinade, seals and toss to coat. Let rest in the fridge 2-8 hours.
1 hours before grilling, remove from fridge and let sit on counter.
Light a grill, coals, etc
Drain the shrimp, and load as many as will fit into each kabob box, without packing them too tightly. Close the box.
Grill over high heat, turning once per side, until the shrimp are lightly charred and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
Remove the shrimp from the box and transfer them to a platter (or a bowl, if you’re going to skewer them, 2-3 per skewer). Sprinkle more pepper on on top (optional), a healthy handful of minced parsley, and serve.
Home Chef Note: You could easily change this up to a great “South of the Border” version, by swapping the capers an basil for chili powder and minced jalapenos, limes for the lemons, and cilantro instead of parsley!