Shrimp And Okra Skewers Over Grilled Peaches With Maple Bourbon Jalapeno Vinaigrette: Summertime On A Plate

It seems that most days I can just sit here and actually see the grass growing right in front of my eyes. Either that or I’m starting to get delusional being on day whatever of this stay at home lifestyle. But when the chorus of buzzing bees and singing birds accompany the rustling of squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits, I sometimes think that there’s no better place to be at this particular moment.

Spring and summer bring a whirlwind of outdoor activity and new growth, and with that comes a yearning for lighter, tastier food featuring fresh ingredients. My thoughts are no different, so this recipe, found while scanning the latest offering from Food & Wine Magazine, brings that summer vibe to your grill and subsequently to your tastebuds. And it doesn’t disappoint.

It sounds different, I know. Maybe even a little fancy for a backyard pit jockey. But maybe that’s what we all need right about now, something a little different to raise our spirits and tickle our taste buds. So when I noticed that most of the key ingredients were sitting right in our kitchen or in the case of fresh jalapenos and parsley, hanging out in our garden, I took that as a sign to give this one a try. And I’m glad I did because it was just the type of flavor combination that I was looking for while also being – dare I say – a healthy meal on the grill.

So it was that while roaming around the house, because that’s what we do now, I decided to get the vinaigrette prepped in advance, combining a good mix of grapeseed oil, chopped onions. diced fresh jalapeño, maple syrup, bourbon, lime juice, minced garlic, and salt and pepper.

The fresh okra is sliced in half lengthwise so it will have a grill time equal to that of the shrimp and take on a great charred and crispy texture. I know, hard to believe, but I had faith, and so can you. It works as advertised if you give the okra a quick toss in salt, pepper and little more grapeseed oil before alternating it on skewers with the marinaded shrimp, which by the way soaked in the vinaigrette marinade mixture for about ten minutes.

Fresh peaches were halved, seasoned with salt and pepper, oiled, and put over direct heat to warm, soften and earn their grill marks. This took maybe 5 to 7 minutes, then each half is removed from the grill and sliced in wedges to lay on the plate as a base.

The shrimp and okra skewers are best grilled directly over a hot hardwood fire for a couple of minutes per side. Barely enough time to exclaim, “Well, I don’t know how this is gonna taste, but it sure smells good!”

Ceremoniously lay those beautiful looking skewers on top of the peaches. Yeah, you can do this on individual plates if you’re into the whole plating and portioning thing, but I favor the full family-style looking platter just waiting for folks to dig in.

To finish, a reserved amount of the vinaigrette is mixed with fresh chopped parsley and drizzled over the platter, hitting every nook and cranny of the shrimp and okra while filling in between the peaches. It’s a fine thing that’s happening here, and one that shouldn’t be skipped.

After that, there’s nothing left to do but fulfill our anticipation of tasting a new and exciting grilled shrimp dish that will make you forget that you really wanted to go out for dinner. The subtleness of the vinaigrette is just right, with no one flavor overpowering the other, instead just mixing together to flavor the shrimp and okra, and even giving the peaches a fresh new twist. This is summertime on a plate, and when some of the ingredients are pulled from your own garden and the meal is pulled off of your backyard grill, it’s even more satisfying.

Because Life Is Better Wood-Fired

For full recipe and instructions please go to https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/shrimp-and-okra-kebabs-grilled-peaches-and-jalapeno-bourbon-vinaigrette