MMB EP. 158 chat with Ruben from Meat Curator
Somewhere along the way, it was realized that I had not yet grilled shrimp. Well to be fair, I had, but that was way back in the days of my clueless ventures in using a propane grill which, even for shrimp, doesn't count. Upon this realization, it is safe to assume that grilled shrimp was indeed my next assignment.
This cook is very different to what I am used to because it is a speed cook. There is no slowly reaching temp and making the choice of medium rare or let it come up a couple more degrees. This is high heat, put em on the grill and before you can sit down for a beer they are done. So combine that with my new mission of creating entire meals and this is one of the rare cooks where I am starting the rest of my meal prior to anything hitting the grill.
The set-up for the shrimp was pretty simple, put them on skewers, rub them with Lane's Q-Nami and you are set. For the sides, I was going with a garlic parmesan orzo and some lemon crusted asparagus. Here is the big issue with the cook as a whole. The orzo, once cooked, take about 10 minutes. The asparagus takes about 10 minutes. And the shrimp, yeah, they take about 10 minutes too. Additionally, when I am cooking meat, the meat can rest and hold temp for a long time giving me the luxury to finish up everything else. Shrimp, on the other hand, do not hold heat at all.
To accomplish all this, it took on the mantra of prep absolutely everything I could before anything started. That way, when I was cooking I didn't have to worry about anything other than just cooking. I even went to the point of using little bowls for everything. My shallot, garlic and lemon zest in one for the asparagus. Garlic and parmesan in another for the orzo. Melted butter and some addition Q-Nami for the shrimp. And finally, one with chopped parsley to finish both the orzo and the shrimp.
With all the prep I could do done, I started cooking the orzo and lit the kettle. With the kettle we were shooting for 350-400 degrees, so that was pretty simple. I let the kettle hold heat while I heated my cast iron and finished cooking the orzo. I started to saute the shallot and garlic, drained the orzo and now it was game time.
I put the shrimp skewers on the grill, added my asparagus to the cast iron and simultaneously tossed the orzo in a skillet. The next 10 minutes was a blur of checking this, stirring that, running to check on the shrimp etc. To say that this cook was a high energy race to the finish is an understatement. Yet, it all came together.
The meal was outstanding. Every flavor kinda played off each other and it truly did feel like a meal. The shrimp stood out. The flavor of Q-Nami never disappoints. If I could go back and change part of this meal, I wouldn't. It all worked perfectly together and it was simply great.
Shrimp is an absolutely great cook for the grill. It is simple and it is quick. Where shrimps difficulty comes in for me is the fact that it does not retain heat once it is cooked. You better have everything else ready because when the shrimp are ready, it is time to eat.
Until next post, remember kids.....CHUNKS not chips!