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Shrimp Scampiedini: Grill ‘Em, Eat ‘Em, Repeat

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It was an afternoon like many that I’ve come to experience, meaning one with wandering thoughts and a craving in my stomach. This time it happened to be thoughts of shrimp on the grill. More specifically, a shrimp scampi type of craving, but with more. I wanted more texture. I wanted a great mouthfeel. I wanted a crunchy coating. And most of all, I wanted to be able to prepare it right here in my own backyard using the trusty old Weber.

So I got to thinking, and believe me, that’s hardly a guarantee of any type of success, but I started wondering how to get these wishlist qualities woven into a grilled shrimp dish. So, in the style of Dr. Frankenstein, only, you know, a little less serious, I started building something. A shrimp something, using what I considered the best qualities of scampi and spiedini.

And it worked. Raising my hands to the heavens, I could be seen grinning and whispering to myself, “Holy moly, it worked.” Born on this day of wandering thoughts, rumbling tummies, a little smoke, and a hotter-than-hot fire, I named it Shrimp Scampiedini. And to sweeten the deal and complement the grilled shrimp. a small bounty of market-fresh veggies with a can of whole potatoes was rounded up and uniformly sliced to take advantage of the sweet smoke of applewood chunks and serve as the sidekick to this shrimp grill.

We begin with 2 pounds of 16-20 count shrimp, thawed, split, peeled and deveined, now prepared for their soak in a marinade consisting of olive oil, lemon juice, fresh minced garlic, and a mixture of cayenne pepper and salt. A bit of chopped parsley was involved as well, but as you can see, or more likely can’t see. it didn’t make it into this photo.

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Marinade time was about an hour or so, and then the shrimp were fished out, skewered, and single-layered in a dish.

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About a cup of Italian flavored Panko crumbs is then sprinkled over the shrimp skewers, using the marinade as the sticky, binder base to hold and hang on, making them even prettier than they were when they were naked!

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Those veggie and new potato skewers can be built at the same time.

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I think you know what comes next. A hot grill, a little bit of applewood smoke, and a well-oiled grate are beautiful things when prepping a grill full of seafood and veggies. Lay ’em out, watch ’em, and turn ’em after a couple of minutes. If the fire is hot, hot, hot, you’ll only need about 3 – 5 minutes total for these beauties to get all delicious-like.

The combined flavors of olive oil, lemon, and garlic, complemented with just the right amount of heat from the red pepper was a delicious, palate-pleasing bonus after the initial crunchy bite of the shrimp’s panko coating. The smoothness of the applewood smoke ties all the ingredients together in a one-bite, additive morsel coated with a chargrilled crunchy exterior taht just begs you to sit and pop them in your mouth one after the other.

And you will…

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Because Life Is Better Wood Fired

Grilled Shrimp Scampiedini

Grilled shrimp with qualities of scampi and spiedini
Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs 16/20 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Your favorite veggies for grilling As much or little as you like
  • 1 cup Italian flavored panko bread crumbs

Shrimp Marinade

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley can substitute basil

Instructions

  • Mix marinade ingredients and add shrimp. Let set for at least an hour.
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  • Remove from marinade, skewer and coat with panko crumbs
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  • Grill shrimp and veggies over high heat for 3 – 6 minutes, turning once.
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  • Remove and enjoy. The shrimp are great for cold dishes or salads as well.