Since I've collected a fair amount of shrimp recipes over the years, I had plenty of choices to choose from, but it tends to get a bit overwhelming. Searching through the pile, many times I end up closing my eyes and randomly picking one instead. Which is exactly how I decided on making this dish of Jerk-Spiced Shrimp for dinner tonight!
Equal amounts of granulated sugar and brick-red paprika are stirred together, along with salt, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, thyme and allspice, forming a homemade jerk-like seasoning used to coat the shrimp. Before tossing the shrimp with the medley of spices, we first drenched them in a few healthy glugs of olive oil for not only an extra boost of flavor, but this extra fat moistens the spices, allowing them to fall in all the nooks and crannies.
As we were going to fire these on the grill, once we had them well coated with the seasoning, we threaded them onto long wooden skewers. You can soak the skewers first if you like, but I didn't bother since they weren't going to be over the heat very long. If you don't have an outside grill, a grill pan would work well, or even sliding them under the broiler to cook them through - just keep a close watch on them because they take minutes to cook.
With a half teaspoon of cayenne, I was wondering just how much of a spicy bite they would have. They do have a definite punch of heat, but not so much it would clean out your sinuses - in fact, I'm sure Jeff would have liked a bit more power as it's usually not hot enough unless some tears start to form! Jeff requested that we serve these charred, juicy shrimp over a simple plate of fragrant brown jasmine rice, but if you wanted to go a bit lighter, a refreshing fruit salad, perhaps loaded with plump chunks of tangy pineapple, would be the way to go (and have a beneficial cooling effect to boot!).