Tuesday, June 7, 2016

"Tip Tuesday" Plus “Honey Ginger BBQ Shrimp” & “Honey Ginger BBQ Corn”

Welcome to “Tip Tuesday” on my blog…come on in and have some cold lemonade. Now as the days get warmer and we are approaching the beginning of summer no one wants to eat inside. Some of us have the option to go outside in the back yard or go to a picnic area and do like most people enjoy a BBQ. There are so many ways to BBQ a steak, chicken, ribs, hamburgers, sausage, hot dogs, veggies, and of course fish. I love shrimp on the grill and they are so simple to cook. They cook fast so dinner can be ready in a short while. Of all the ways to prepare shrimp, I think the grill delivers the best flavor. You can save time by buying already shelled and de-veined shrimp, but sometimes the shell on the shrimp are better quality. That is depending on where you live and what's in your market, you may not have much choice. Freshness trumps all, so don't hesitate to use your nose in deciding which shrimp to buy or ask your fishmonger.

Most shrimp are sold frozen and marketed based on their categorization of presentation, grading, color, and uniformity. Shrimp have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and low levels of mercury. As with other seafood, shrimp is high in calcium, iodine, and protein but low in food energy. Shrimp consumption, however, is considered healthy for the circulatory system because the lack of significant levels of saturated fat in shrimp means that the high cholesterol content in shrimp actually improves the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol and lowers triglycerides. 

Shrimp Fun Facts:
  • Shrimp are crustaceans found widely around the world in both fresh and salt water.
  • One billion pounds of shrimp are eaten every year by Americans.
  • Over five billion pounds of shrimp are produced every single year.
  • April 29th is National Shrimp Scampi Day & May 9th is National Shrimp Day.
  • A shrimp can average about 6 inches while the longest ever found was at 16 inches.
  • Some shrimp can live as long as six and a half years, while some only live about a year or so.
  • There are 16 different stages of life are found in shrimp from egg to full adult.
  • There are over 128 species of shrimp.
  • Every shrimp is actually born a male and then become females as they mature. The average shrimp has 10 legs.
  • The name for raw, uncooked shrimp is “green”.
  • Shrimp that has been broiled or sautéed, usually in butter and garlic are called “scampi”.

Today I have two recipes to share, one is called, “Honey Ginger BBQ Shrimp” and “Honey Ginger BBQ Corn,” which you use a appealing and tasty “Honey Ginger BBQ Sauce” recipe. Gooey and so mouth-watering that you will want to make this one all the time!

Honey Ginger BBQ Sauce

Yield: Makes 1 1/4 cups 
Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients for sauce only:
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup ketchup
1 1/2 tablespoons hot sauce, such as Tabasco
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger
1 teaspoon salt

Stir together all sauce ingredients in a 2 to 2 1/2-quart heavy saucepan and briskly simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 1 1/4 cups, 25 to 30 minutes. (Stir frequently toward end of cooking to prevent sticking.)

Sauce can be made 3 days ahead and refrigerated once cooled. Reheat before proceeding.

****Notes: Corn can be shucked 2 hours ahead. If grilling both the corn and the Grilled Shrimp with Honey-Ginger Barbecue Sauce grill the corn first, then keep it warm on a tray loosely covered with foil. If you are using charcoal, you don't want more than about 1 layer of charcoal for the corn because more will cause it to burn before it cooks through. When the corn is done, add more charcoal to grill the shrimp.

If making the shrimp and the corn, double the recipe for the sauce and cook it until it is reduced to 2 1/2 cups.

Honey Ginger BBQ Shrimp

Yield: 8 servings

4 pounds jumbo (21-25 per pound) or extra-large (26-30 per pound) shrimp in shell, peeled, leaving tail and adjoining shell segment intact, and de-veined (See Notes)
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
Honey Ginger BBQ Sauce (recipe above)

"Honey Ginger BBQ Shrimp"
****Special equipment: 18 to 24 (12-inch) wooden skewers (depending on size of shrimp used), soaked in water for 30 minutes.

For the Shrimp: If necessary, pat shrimp dry, then thread about 6 shrimp (through top and tail, leaving shrimp curled), onto each skewer, without leaving space between shrimp. Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium-high for gas.)  Meanwhile, brush shrimp with vegetable oil and sprinkle evenly with salt. Lightly oil grill rack. Grill shrimp, covered only if using a gas grill, turning over once, 2 minutes. Brush shrimp with some sauce from the saucepan, then turn. Brush shrimp with additional sauce then grill until just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with reserved sauce.

****Notes: In terms of shrimp size, go by the count per pound versus the descriptive terms such as jumbo and extra-large. If the count is not displayed, ask. Sauce can be made 3 days ahead and refrigerated once cooled. Reheat before proceeding. Shrimp can be threaded onto skewers and refrigerated on a tray, loosely covered with plastic wrap, 2 hours before grilling.

It's hard to imagine anything better than freshly picked ears of corn roasting to golden-brown goodness on the grill. One taste of this Honey Ginger Barbecue Sauce and you'll be wondering why you ever stuck to plain old butter. This sweet and tangy sauce transforms the season's corn into a standout, favorite.

Honey Ginger BBQ Corn

Yield: 8 servings

1 1/4 cups warm Honey Ginger Barbecue Sauce
16 ears of corn, shucked
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt

"Honey Ginger BBQ Corn"
Prepare Honey-Ginger Barbecue Sauce and divide equally into two bowls. Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium-high for gas). Drizzle corn with oil on a large rimmed baking sheet, and sprinkle evenly with salt. Lightly rub oil and salt into corn. Oil grill rack, then grill corn (covered only if using gas), turning frequently, until lightly browned and tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Move corn to different positions on grill if hot spots are present. Brush corn with some of prepared sauce and grill, turning, until sauce is hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with reserved sauce. 


Buying Shrimp:
It's preferable to buy shrimp frozen, most are sold in five-pound blocks, as fresh is rare and thawed shrimp gives neither the flavor of fresh nor the flexibility of frozen. The shelf life of thawed shrimp is only a couple of days, whereas shrimp stored in the freezer retain their quality for several weeks. Shrimp should have no black spots or melanosis on their shell, which indicates breakdown of the meat has begun. Likewise, avoid shrimp with yellowing shells or those that feel gritty as either may indicate the use of sodium bisulfite, a bleaching agent sometimes used to remove melanosis. Shrimp should smell of saltwater only and, when thawed, should be firm and fill the shell fully.

Few rules govern the sale of shrimp and size classifications are subjective and relative. Learn to judge shrimp as retailers do, by the number of shrimp it takes to make a pound. Shrimp from 15 or 20-30 per pound usually give the best combination of flavor, ease, and value. 

Of the 300 hundred species of shrimp worldwide, 6 are most commonly found in our markets:
  • Gulf White: Certainly the most expensive, and frequently the best. Good flavor, firm texture, usually grayish white in color. Similar in appearance to the less desirable Gulf brown shrimp, so select carefully – ask to see the box, which might be of help. Note: Mark feels these are the best, especially when fresh, but aren't easy to find.
  • Ecuadorian or Mexican White: Similar to Gulf whites, these may be wild (most Mexicans) or farm-raised (all Ecuadorian). More Ecuadorian shrimp is imported to the United States than any other.
  • Black Tiger: Widely farmed shrimp from Asia. May be dark gray with black stripes and red feelers or bluish with yellow feelers; pink when cooked. Can be quite flavorful and firm, but inconsistent. 
  • Gulf Pink: High quality, wild or farm-raised. Shell is usually redder that that of whites, but may be light brown. 
  • Gulf Brown: Wild shrimp most likely to taste of iodine, reddish brown, can be easily confused with whites or pinks. 
  • Chinese White: Asian farm-raised with grayish white color, soft, sometimes watery texture, mild flavor. Usually relatively inexpensive. 
  • Rock Shrimp: From the mid-Atlantic, southern states, and Gulf of Mexico. Good-tasting but very hard to peel, usually sold peeled and frequently cooked.

Cooking Shrimp:
Defrost shrimp in the refrigerator or in cold water. Do not defrost in a warm place or microwave, moisture, nutrients, and weight will be lost. Shrimp cook in as little as 3 minutes; when they're pink, they're done. If you over cook them they become like rubber. Remove the shell before cooking if the shrimp will be served in hot liquid. Leave the shell on if poaching shrimp for later use, or if grilling as the shell protects the meat. The shell has good flavor which will be imparted to the shrimp if left on during cooking.

Till Next Time…..

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  1. It can be a bit of a pain to shell shrimp, but shrimps with their shells do seem to have better flavor -- slightly -- than those already shelled. Anyway, love shrimp and am always looking for new ways to prepare it. Love the BBQ sauce! Great flavors. And the corn looks just wonderful, too. Thanks!

    1. Hi John,
      Thank you for your comment. I agree it is a pain to peel fresh shrimp, but as you said the flavor is better, I think. This BBQ sauce is amazing, I have used it on chicken and even on pork chops. It really does have a yummy flavor. Love COrn on the cob and this is so easy. Enjoy the rest of your week and thank you for visiting.
      Dottie ;)

  2. The shrimp sounds delicious, Dottie! When I was growing up, Mom would cook "green" shrimp for parties, etc. and it drove our cat crazy and me too so I got out of the house and never ate it. In fact, I didn't eat until a few years ago when I had it in Key West, loved it and still do. So this recipe is a go, with the shells intact. That corn on the cob is a wonderful thing for summer and the honey sauce has to be delicious. Thanks for so many good things here! :-) Take care and have a great weekend! Hugs

    1. Dear Pam,
      Thank you dear friend for your great comment. I am not sure if I ever ate green shrimp, I think I would have know that. I was in Key West also and nver ate them there, oh well sometime I will have to try them. I agree the shells should be intact it gives it more flavor I think. My favorite is the corn, a yummy combo with the honey sauce. So glad that you enjoyed this post. Thanks again and you have a great weekend as well!
      Hugs, Dottie x :)

  3. Ciao Dottie!
    Just come back from Italy and feeling quite tired. I have been very busy visiting artisans and local villages and eating far too much! But I loved every minute of it. (I was also too excited to sleep!). Now I have lots of nice photos to post on the blog and local recipes too. These are the sort of things I love to post.
    Your recipes are always very inspiring Dottie. These shrimps look so delicious and I would love to try your corn recipe with honey. I hope you are well. Ciao, baci!

    1. Dear Alida,
      So glad that you have returned home. I know you enjoy Italy especially that your family is there. I am so looking forward to your blog posts. Excited to see the new journey's you have been on. Also the foods you ate and are going to show us so many recipes. Thank you for visiting and your comment. I enjoy cooking and baking so that is why I seems to be inspiring to you. The shrimps are yummy and the corn is my favorite with the sauce it just adds such a sweet flavor that you can't just eat one as they say! Yes, thanks I am doing well. Hope that you have a wonderful weekend with your family. Ciao to you my friend!
      Hugs Dottie :)x

  4. Hi Dottie:)
    WOW! Who knew there was so much to buying shrimp, lol...I learned a lot from this post Dottie but the one thing I really need to dig into is the saturated fat cholesterol info. I've been avoiding shrimp for that reason. Now I must research and see what I missed, lol...

    The next thing I would LOVE to dive into are your grilled shrimp. Goodness abounds in this recipe and as you say BBQ shrimp cook up in no time! And, since tomorrow is National Corn on the Cob Day, you know what we'll be chomping on, lol...

    Thank you so much for this wealth of information Dottie...Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Hi Louise,
      Oh my thank you so much for your kind words. So glad that you liked this post and I was able to pass you some great info. I love shrimp prepared anyway, but I think anything tastes better on the grill. Shrimp or any fish takes a short amount of time to cook so they are a great time saver. But like you I adore eating the corn, especially when it is on the cob..now they have such sweet corn that you want to eat it all.. Also Happy COrn on the Cob Day! You are so funny. Thanks again dear friend for visiting...Have a terrific weekend and say hello to Marion for me...
      Hugs Dottie :)