Awesome Spicy Grilled Shrimp

I’ve been searching my recipes for anything grill worthy, preparing for the season ahead. When I came across this clipping from; I knew I had to share. The ingredients reminded me of another favorite – Fabulous Filipino Barbecue. It was the use of garlic and banana ketchup that struck a chord in me. I would even be willing to bet these dishes would be terrific served together.

download (9)Banana Ketchup is the popular term to describe what is in reality a banana sauce. It isn’t even marketed under the label “ketchup” but rather “sauce” by the manufactures. Made of mashed bananas, sugar, vinegar and spices; its natural coloring is a brownish-yellow. The bright red color that gives the sauce its “ketchup” appearance is actually from red food coloring. In Filipino households; banana sauce or ketchup is used as a condiment for just about anything from Omelettes to French Fries. I use it to give that distinct “Filipino” taste to marinades and red color to my sweet and sour dishes. Banana Ketchup or Banana Sauce can usually be found in Asian food section of well-stocked grocery stores or in specialty markets catering to a large Filipino community.

Awesome Spicy Grilled Shrimp
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons hot sauce
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon banana ketchup
1 tablespoon Asian chili paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
12 wooden skewers, soaked in water

Whisk together the olive oil, sesame oil, parsley, hot sauce, minced garlic, ketchup, chili sauce, salt, pepper, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Set aside about 1/3 of this marinade to use while grilling.

Place the shrimp in a large, resealable plastic bag. Pour in the remaining marinade and seal the bag. Refrigerate for 2 hours. While the shrimp marinades; soak skewers in water.

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard marinade.

Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp for 2 minutes per side until opaque, basting frequently with reserved marinade.

Note: If using the “hot” variety of Banana Ketchup; increase to 2 tablespoons and omit the chili paste.

Portuguese Marinated Surf and Turf on Rosemary Skewers

This year, I want to plant some Rosemary bushes in the back yard. I love the smell of Rosemary. It will be a few years until I can “harvest” clipping for skewers. In the meantime an early morning stroll through the farmer’s markets is always a joy.

products_herbs_rosemary_skewersI’ve been cooking with fresh Rosemary for years. (Who hasn’t?) I’ve even used the smaller Rosemary “twigs” to thread appetizers or dress up plates – especially during the holidays (gives that “Christmas” pine tree feel to a variety of pretty plates). It wasn’t until last summer that I used Rosemary (the larger stalks) as a “skewer” for some yummy marinated “turf”. The flavor of the Rosemary inside the meat is unbelievable!  Oh my goodness – this was so delicious.

The first time I made this Surf and Turf combination, I had planned to saute the shrimp as an accompaniment to the meat. But I had some Rosemary stalks left over after threading the marinated meats – it seemed a shame to toss them. Since then, I simply planned to thread everything onto the Rosemary skewers. By threading the shrimp early on, it took a step out of the grilling process (for better timing) and allowed the Rosemary to better flavor the shrimp.

Portuguese Marinated Surf and Turf on Rosemary Skewers
Marinated “Turf”
2 teaspoons coarse salt or to taste
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
3 bay leaves plus extra for grilling (need fresh bay leaves, not dried)
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds beef sirloin, rib-eye, or beef tenderloin, cut in 2 inch cubes
Fresh Rosemary stalks for skewers

Lime-Rosemary “Surf”
1 lb large shrimp, peeled, tails intact
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 Cup Fresh Rosemary, chopped

Stand Rosemary stalk one at a time on a plate, tip up. Grasp top firmly and strip bottom 2/3 of Rosemary needles to create skewers. Set skewers aside. Gather needles to use for this recipe and for future use.

Using a mortar and pestle, combine the salt and garlic, mashing the two until the garlic becomes a paste. Mix in the bay leaves, pepper, wine vinegar and lastly, the olive oil.

Put the meat cubes in a shallow non-reactive bowl and dump the seasoning paste over the meat.

With clean hands, turn the meat to coat thoroughly on all sides. Let stand for 2 to 4 hours or even overnight in the refrigerator. While meat is marinating, soak skewers at least 30 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare shrimp. Slice limes in half, squeeze juice over raw, peeled shrimp. Sprinkle with fresh Rosemary and toss to coat well. Thread shrimp onto Rosemary skewers, wrap and keep in refrigerator until ready to grill.

When ready to cook, thread the cubes of meat alternating with a bay leaf, onto the skewers. Grill over medium-heat (beef tenderloin requires less cooking, 5-6 minutes for medium-rare, sirloin or rib eye will require a little more grilling time). Grill meat approximately 5 inches above the flames. Adjust cooking time as needed for desired doneness. Transfer meat to large serving platter, tent with foil to keep warm.

Grill shrimp skewers for about 2-3 minutes, turning as needed. Plate shrimp skewers along side meat and serve.

Enjoy the perfect “Surf & Turf” combo on a warm summer night supper.