Prep time 20 minutes
Active prep time 20 minutes
Special equipment needed – None
Special skills needed – None
Serves 4 as a meal or 8 as an appetizer
This shrimp dish is almost too easy to make. It just takes a couple of minutes of effort to produce a restaurant quality appetizer. The end product is packed full of flavor, with vibrant colors and a little heat. These can be a great starter for a meal, or a great protein for a taco. You could serve them over rice or steamed veggies. Litter them over a mound of guacamole to turn a dip into a meal. Start with great shrimp, preferably some wild caught, gulf of Mexico, 16-20 count size. You’ll end up with something really interesting. This one is a real crowd pleaser.
2 lbs Jumbo Shrimp – Peeled with the tail section still attached
1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme
½ Cup Lime juice
6 Tablespoons Olive oil
4 Cloves Garlic
1-2 Large Jalapenos
1 Bunch Scallions – Trim off the roots and the tips of the green part
1 Cup Cilantro
4 Tablespoons Butter
Coarse salt to taste
In a medium bowl, combine the lime juice, 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil, and the thyme. Whisk to combine. Make a cut about half way through the meat of each shrimp along what would be the spine if they had one. This allows the shrimp to spread out and take up more of the flavor of the cilantro and peppers. Add the shrimp to the lime juice mixture and let it sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Add the garlic cloves, jalapeños, and scallions to a food processor. You can throw the jalapeños in, seeds and all, if you like a lot of heat. Otherwise, remove the white part inside to cut the heat down a bit. Pulse these ingredients while adding the remaining olive oil to form a chunky paste, similar to pesto. When these are uniformly minced, add the cilantro and process for about 10 seconds. You want it to be chopped up, but still retain some texture. Drain most of the lime juice from the shrimp and add this mixture to the bowl. Toss to thoroughly coat the shrimp.
Heat the butter in a large pan over medium heat until just before it starts to brown. Add the shrimp in a single layer. I like to give shrimp a lot of care when I cook them so they cook evenly. Try to flip them only once. Watch as they turn white and when that reaches the middle of the shrimp, flip it with tongs.
The goal is to get them to brown just a bit on the outside but not be over cooked. Once you have flipped them all, get a spoon and baste them with the butter. Remember that shrimp will keep cooking a bit after you take them off of the heat, so take them off when they are a bit under rather than a bit over. It should take around 5 minutes to cook fully. Remove the shrimp to a large plate and then immediately sprinkle with a little coarse salt.