Saturday, August 25, 2012

Grilled Shrimp with Friends

Earlier this week we had friends over for dinner. I would generally highlight the main dish (I grilled some shrimp), but the main dish was not the star of this meal. Don't get me wrong; the grilled shrimp came out beautifully.

Gail got some large shrimp that were pre-brined. You could brine them yourself for about a half hour in 1/2 cup of kosher salt to 4 cups water. You could boil the brine to get all the salt to dissolve, but then you'd have to wait for the brine to cool before adding the shrimp, and you'd be over-thinking it. You can see in the picture how I skewer the shrimp. That makes them easier to work with on the grill. I cooked them directly over hot coals. (Please use a chimney to light the coals and not lighter fluid. The shrimp won't stand up to the lighter fluid.) Don't over-cook the shrimp. Five minutes a side might be too much, but keep an eye on them.

There, I've gone and highlighted the shrimp. But like I said, that wasn't the star.

The star of the meal was Gail's garden vegetables. Look how beautiful they are. Gail dug fresh potatoes in the morning, and served them simply boiled with sour cream and chives on the side. The potato flavors shined. They were buttery and delicious all on their own.

I've become a huge fan of this particular garden saute. It includes beans, corn and tomatoes in a little olive oil. The beans are crisp and delicious and flavored by the sweetness of the corn and the sweet acidity of the tomatoes.

The salad was almost a garden salad, but we had to buy the greens. Who can figure why tomatoes and lettuce are the salad standards. Tomatoes are a hot season crop. Greens are a cool season crop. There is no time where they can be harvested together. But the tomatoes and cucumbers were harvested together, and were the super-fresh focus of the salad.

I love Gail's garden.

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