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Can shrimp and vegetables ever achieve perfection on a single skewer?
Shrimp and vegetable kebabs are notoriously difficult to cook because the shrimp inevitably overcook in the time it takes most vegetables to pass from raw to their crisp-tender ideal—and so you end up serving either rubbery shrimp or undercooked vegetables. This recipe works by pairing slower-cooking jumbo shrimp with quick-cooking vegetables: mushrooms, bell peppers, and scallions. We precook the peppers and mushrooms in the microwave before skewering them to give them a head start, and we nestle the mushrooms into the curves of the shrimp on the skewer to better insulate the shrimp and extend their cooking time. Cutting the bell peppers and scallions into planks about the width of the shrimp ensures that the entire kebab makes contact with the grill, promoting even cooking and good char on every component. Simply seasoning with oil and pepper allows the kebabs to char beautifully on the grill, and dressing them with a fresh lemon-herb vinaigrette while they’re hot from the fire makes for a flavorful finish.
|Salt and pepper|
|1 ½||pounds jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled and deveined|
|3||large red or yellow bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ¾-inch-wide by 3-inch-long strips|
|24||cremini mushrooms, trimmed|
|12||scallions, cut into 3-inch lengths|
|2||tablespoons vegetable oil|
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Small mushrooms measuring about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter work best in this recipe. If using larger mushrooms, halve them before microwaving in step 3. You will need eight 12-inch metal skewers for this recipe.
1. FOR THE SHRIMP: Dissolve 2 tablespoons salt and sugar in 1 quart cold water in large container. Submerge shrimp in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Remove shrimp from brine and pat dry with paper towels.
2. Line large microwave-safe plate with double layer of paper towels. Spread half of bell peppers skin side down in even layer on plate and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Microwave for 2 minutes. Transfer bell peppers, still on towels, to cutting board and let cool. Repeat with fresh paper towels and remaining bell peppers.
3. Line second plate with double layer of paper towels. Spread mushrooms in even layer on plate and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Microwave for 3 minutes. Transfer mushrooms, still on towels, to cutting board and let cool.
4. Lay 1 shrimp on cutting board and run 12-inch metal skewer through center. Thread mushroom onto skewer through sides of cap, pushing so it nestles tightly into curve of shrimp. Follow mushroom with 2 pieces scallion and 2 pieces bell pepper, skewering so vegetables and shrimp form even layer. Repeat shrimp and vegetable sequence 2 more times. When skewer is full, gently press ingredients so they fit snugly together in center of skewer. Thread remaining shrimp and vegetables on 7 more skewers for total of 8 kebabs. Brush each side of kebabs with oil and season with pepper.
5A. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter mounded with charcoal briquettes (7 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
5B. FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave all burners on high.
6. FOR THE VINAIGRETTE: While grill heats, whisk all ingredients together in bowl.
7. Clean and oil cooking grate. Place kebabs on grill and cook (covered if using gas) until charred, about 2 1/2 minutes. Flip kebabs and cook until second side is charred and shrimp are cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes, moving kebabs as needed to ensure even cooking. Transfer kebabs to serving platter. Rewhisk vinaigrette and drizzle over kebabs. Serve.