The breeze was easy on this particular day. And the old man, retired I’m thinkin’, sat motionless on his covered porch out in the country, a bright orange can of Prince Albert tobacco poking out of the chest pocket of his well-worn KEY overalls like a blossoming flower announcing itself to the world. His rough, working-man hands took turns cradling a smoldering pipe, the end of which barely rested on his lower lip, moving only when he spoke. That wasn’t often. He preferred to watch the world go by, to see what others take for granted. He enjoyed the view from his old country porch, and also enjoyed the company of others, as long as they adhered to his principles. “Simple is best”, he would say when asked about anything new or modern. “More fancy. More trouble”.
Those words sometimes ring true to me as well. It seems we’re always searching for that next great thing, even though what we presently have may serve us well. Grilling can fall into that same trap. The next great grill, the next revolutionary ingredient or rub, the next hoidy-toidy grilling style or presentation technique to put the dish over-the-top.
“Simple is best. More fancy. More trouble”.
That’s what we’re doing today, by way of seafood on the grill. Namely, jerk shrimp and blackened salmon. Basic, quick and tasty. No fancy sauces or secret rubs. Just simple, great flavor for a delicious grilled seafood dinner. So let’s get after it.
These shell-on, deveined shrimp totaled about a pound, specifically giving twenty to twenty-two to reach that weight.
A goodly amount of a favorite jerk seasoning is mixed with vegetable oil and then poured over the shrimp and tossed to coat evenly. I kept some to brush on the shrimp while grilling. This whole process is done mere minutes before hitting the grill. No long marinades are needed.
And then skewer. Simple.
The salmon filets are thawed and awaiting their fate.
They are generously rubbed with blackening seasoning, one of my all time favorite rubs for any type of seafood.
Now off to that hot grill and sizzling salt block. This won’t take long, so no grill jockey meandering or pit side daydreaming is on the agenda today. Just good grilling. For a bit of greenery, a squash is sliced and added to the grill party.
After a few minutes, less time than it takes to gather up a favorite cold libation, pop the top off with that bottle opener and take a manly size swig, its time to have your shrimp do the flip-flop. The salmon and squash can also be rotated and/or moved around for more even cooking.
The jerk shrimp and blackened salmon are sizzling, by now, releasing their wood fired aroma to those little sensors in your head that make your mouth water. After two to three more minutes, the shrimp and squash are ready to take off the grill. A few more minutes allowed the salmon to finish their grilling journey, and just like that, a mini seafood feast was upon us.
Delicious. Fast. Satisfying.
“Simple is best. More fancy. More trouble”
“Because Life Is Better Wood Fired”