So since I gave my beloved, Matt, a little bit of a hard time on this blog yesterday, I thought I would go a little easier on him today. 🙂 When we were dating, he would occasionally cook for me. (It was very cute and endearing). His go-to dishes were chili, chicken parmigiana, and occasionally when the weather was nice, he would grill something.
His favorite thing to make me from the grill were these shrimp. He learned this trick from his dad, where you take fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined, and quickly marinate them in store-bought Italian dressing. They’re incredibly simple and very, very tasty.
A couple weeks ago, that memory randomly popped into my head, so I decided to surprise him with my version of that dish. I knew I wanted to make the entire thing from scratch, so I found a recipe for homemade Italian dressing, picked up some super-fresh large shrimp, and made sure to chill some Chardonnay ahead of time.
He loved both the sentiment and the shrimp. We ate a leisurely date-night dinner, sipping wine, enjoying the shellfish, and reminiscing together. I’m very, very lucky to share my life with you, Matt; what can I say – I got a good one!
A very important recipe note: don’t marinate the shrimp for more than about 15 minutes. Otherwise, the acid in the dressing will start to “cook” the shrimp. And while ceviche is delicious if that’s what you’re going for, that’s not the idea here. If the shrimp are partially acid-cooked, then they’ll turn out really rubbery once you grill them. So I would say no more than 15 minutes in the marinade. Oh, and of course you could use this Italian dressing on salad too – it’s delicious and much healthier than the store-bought
Source: Italian Dressing is from The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila
¾ cup olive oil
¼ cup white wine vinegar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)
4 tsp dried parsley flakes
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp crushed red chile flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp kosher salt
Black pepper, to taste
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
Combine all the ingredients except the shrimp in a bowl. Whisk thoroughly. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes (to rehydrate the dried herbs).
In a large bowl, pour the dressing over the shrimp. Allow to sit in the refrigerator no more than 15 minutes. Meanwhile preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Oil the grate.
Using tongs, place the shrimp on the grill in a single layer and grill until just cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. The length of cook time will depend on the size of your shrimp; but the best ways to determine doneness are the center of the shrimp (the deveined part) will be white, the shrimp will be pinkish and curled, and when you tap the sides of the shrimp it would feel firm but not rock hard. If it’s squishy, they’re not done yet.
Remove from the grill and serve immediately.