Summer Chill & Grill – Seasonal Brunch

Oh foodie buzzwords, how I love you, let me count the ways – Seasonal, local, fresh, sustainable. We’ve been telling ourselves that we should eat more seasonably (is that a word?). Ditch the shopping list, buy what is fresh and affordable and make it work. Use what we have and what we find. So today we had some pat-yourself-on-the-back level success with just this and we’re a little proud of ourselves.

We’re at the grocery store alternately complaining about the oppressive muggy heat outside and the arctic temperate of the store (first world problems, I know) when we come upon this:

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Amelia is bundled up in her race car shopping cart with a blanket, negotiating a trip back to the ‘tortilla lady’ for samples while Lori and I ogle the bounty of crustaceans in front of us desperately trying to rationalize a way to bring them home and ruin our careful meal planning.

“Lunch?” Suggests Lori “I could grill them.” I offer. And that quickly we hatch our plans. Lori is on Pinterest looking up recipes before we leave the fish counter.

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So what did we do once Lori peeled these gorgeous guys? We marinated them two ways and seared them on the grill for a quick summer patio brunch. Fresh watermelon salad with feta cheese and rosemary oil rounded out the meal.I bit off a bit more than I intended by trying two different marinades but as usual I learned some things along the way. It’s hard to ruin shrimp and I need to turn the grill up to caramelize the sugars better.

We sat on the patio with the constant buzz of cicadas and an oscillating fan while Amelia tried to tug the tails off of the already peeled shrimp and Lori swelled with pride.

Recipe’s Below!

Honey Bourbon Balsamic Glazed Shrimp

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Marinade Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 honey
  • salt
  • 3/4 lb. shrimp, peeled.

I stole this recipe from one based on a beer glaze but I didn’t have a can of beer handy that I was willing to sacrifice, so I pulled a Kentucky bourbon out and subbed it for excellent results.SONY DSC

Heat the ingredients for the marinade over medium heat for a few minutes until they start to bubble and slightly thicken. Let cool if you have time or if you have a two year old on a post lunch nap timer add an ice cube and marinate the shrimp for up to 20 minutes.

Grill for about 2 minutes per side on medium high heat. My grill wasn’t as hot as it should have been otherwise I think the glaze would have caramelized better.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

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Ingredients

  • Juice of 2 fresh limes
  • Fresh chopped cilantro
  • Salt
  • 3/4 lb. gulf shrimp – Peeled

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Juice the limes, add finely chopped cilantro and salt to taste. Marinate the shrimp for 15-30 minutes. Skewer in soaked bamboo skewers and grill over medium-high heat for approx. 2 min. a side.

The lime juice will begin to cook the shrimp the longer it marinades so adjust the cooking time to avoid rubbery shrimp syndrome.  Serve to hungry toddler and spouse and watch them disappear.

Rosemary Watermelon Salad

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So Lori loves watermelon and I … well I’ve used less flattering terms in the past. I won’t say that this recipe changed my mind about the ubiquitous southern summer fruit, but this treatment was some of the best I’ve had.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 whole fresh watermelon, chilled if possible
  • 4 oz feta cheese
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 teaspoon flax seed
  • sea salt

Fry the rosemary sprig whole in a pan with plenty of oil until the leaves begin to crisp up and turn brown. Remove the sprig and reserve the oil which is going to make your entire kitchen smell good for the rest of the afternoon.

Cut the watermelon into cubes, sprinkle with flax seed (or other seed such as poppy, roasted sesame etc. that you have on hand) and crumbled feta cheese. Strip rosemary leaves and sprinkle over salad. Drizzle the rosemary infused oil over the entire dish and salt to taste.

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Go. Try. Adventure!

Frank

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