Just a few short months ago we were complaining about the all the snow and discussing prime rib. Now we are complaining about the heat and discussing grilling tips.
On the hottest day last week, one of my cooks Travis, who’s from Guyana, said to me, “The weather feels like we are back in my country.”
He made it sound so nice to be anywhere tropical (sipping a colorful cocktail) that I prepared an easy. Caribbean-style dish that I think you will enjoy.
For this dish, a bigger shrimp works. I used a U-8 shrimp, which means there are eight or fewer per pound (that’s a big shrimp).
Just about any vegetables will work, but you should definitely blanch the veggies before you grill them so the shrimp won’t cook too quickly.
And make sure you wear gloves when cutting the jalapeños. If you don’t, you will feel it later when you go to use the bathroom, if you know what I mean.
Yields two servings
1 cup apricot preserves
1/4 tsp. cumin powder
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. red chili places
6 turns of a pepper mill
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbls. chives, thinly sliced
2 tsps. garlic, minced
1/4 cup hot water
3 limes, halved
3 tbls. olive oil
1/2 large red onion, cut into one-inch squares
1 large red bell pepper, seeded cut into one-inch squares
1/2 pineapple cut into one-inch cubes
4 jalapeños seeded and cut in half lengthwise and again widthwise
8 jumbo shrimp, peeled, tail off and deveined.
2 Latex gloves
2 15-inch metal skewers
1 18-ounce can hearts of palm
1 can cooking spray
In a bowl, whisk the first eight ingredients until there are no lumps. Then add the juice of a lime and a tablespoon of the olive oil. Transfer it to a smaller container and set aside.
Bring salted water to a rolling boil and drop all the vegetables in and cook them about a minute or just till they start to get soft. Put them in ice water for a minute then drain.
You are ready to assemble: Start with the pineapple on the skewer then add the red onion, jalapeño, red pepper, then shrimp. Repeat this in this order three more times and end with a piece of pineapple.
Season the hearts of palm with the juice of a lime and the rest of the olive oil salt and pepper. Get your grill or broiler very hot. Just before you put those beautiful brochettes on the grill, coat them with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper.
Put the hearts of palm on the grill as well. Brush the glaze on the shrimp and veggies the more you put the better it will look and taste. Let them go for about four minutes; You will want to continue brushing glaze on them in this time. Flip the brochettes and turn the hearts of palm. Keep brushing.
When the brochettes are done serve them over the hearts of palm with a squeeze of lime over the top. Enjoy the mini-vacation!
Joe Raiola is the executive chef at Morton’s The Steakhouse [339 Adams St. between Willoughby and Tillary streets in Downtown, (718) 596-2700].