Grilled Shrimp Skewers With Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Fresh wild shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico (and the Atlantic coast off the Carolinas and Georgia) are the best option for shrimp lovers. Leave them in the shell, which keeps them juicy, before threading on skewers to grill. These are seasoned only with a little salt, then served with a spicy red pepper sauce that takes cues from the Catalan romesco.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2large red bell peppers
- ¾cup whole toasted almonds (see Tip)
- 1teaspoon pimentón (smoked Spanish paprika)
- ¼teaspoon ground cayenne
- 3garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and pepper
- 1cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- 1 ½pounds very small potatoes, unpeeled
- 3medium red onions, unpeeled and quartered
- 1 ½to 2 pounds fresh Gulf shrimp, or use frozen
- Extra-virgin olive oil
Step 1Prepare a hot charcoal grill. Lay peppers directly on the grill and let them blister, turning frequently until blackened all over, about 8 minutes. Set aside on a plate until cool enough to handle. (Alternatively, roast peppers on the stovetop, directly on the flames of a gas burner.)
Step 2Cut peppers in half lengthwise. Cut off stems, scrape away skins and seeds, and discard. Do not rinse; a bit of char is OK. Chop the peppers into 2-inch chunks.
Step 3With a food processor or blender, whirl together peppers, almonds, pimentón, cayenne and garlic to form a rough paste. Season with salt and pepper. Slowly add olive oil to achieve the consistency of a thick milkshake. Taste, adjust seasoning and transfer to a serving bowl.
Step 4In a medium saucepan, boil potatoes in well-salted water until just done, about 10 minutes. Drain.
Step 5Place onion pieces on the grill skin-side down. Salt lightly. Cover with lid and cook until onions are soft, about 15 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
Step 6Place boiled potatoes on grill and cook until slightly charred, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
Step 7Meanwhile, thread shrimp onto skewers, 4 or 5 shrimp per skewer, without crowding. (If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water to prevent burning.) Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Step 8Lay skewers on grill over hot coals. Cook for about 3 minutes, then flip and cook until shrimp turn pink and are a bit charred, 3 minutes more
Step 9Arrange shrimp, potatoes and onions on a large platter. Serve with the red pepper sauce and lemon wedges.