Monday, May 30, 2011

BBQ Shrimp and Sea Scallops

BBQ Shrimp and Sea Scallops

I told you last night that Memorial Day is a special day for us.  Dan is a Navy veteran.  I try to make meals all weekend that he really loves. 

I’ve seen recipes for BBQ Shrimp basting sauce over the years from celebrity chefs and frankly, while delicious, they seem a bit exhausting to prepare.  I came up with this simplified recipe.  I honestly think I hit a home run with this seafood BBQ basting sauce.  Try it as written and write to me and tell me what you think.

You will note that used different seasonings on the shrimp and scallops, although I finish with the same sauce.  Why?  Different shellfish require different seasonings to taste great!  And you are searing the scallops…  Certain seasonings do better under the sear.

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Serves 4:

For the Shrimp:

½ lb. large Shrimp, shelled and deveined  (About 16 shrimp - Important:  reserve shells*)
½ teaspoon Essence of Emeril (common ingredient with the sauce)
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
½ teaspoon Dried Thyme
½ teaspoon Dried Oregano
Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste

For the Scallops:

½ lb. Sea Scallops
½ tablespoon Cajun Seasoning
½ teaspoon Blackened Seasoning (Suggest Old Bay)
1 tablespoon Butter (common ingredient with sauce)

For the Basting Sauce:

1/2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 tablespoons Butter, divided by tablespoons, two of the tablespoons chilled
2 cloves Garlic, minced
½ small Sweet Onion, chopped
Reserved Shrimp Shells*
½ tablespoon Essence of Emeril
4 springs fresh Thyme
3 dried Bay Leaves
1 Lemon, sliced
6 ounces. Light Beer
1 1/8 cup Cold Water (divided by one cup and 1/8).
3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 tablespoons loosely packed Light Brown Sugar


Cooking Spray for the Grill
Fresh Chopped Parsley and Chives (for garnish – optional)
Fresh Lemon Slices

Sprinkle shelled shrimp with Essence, Cayenne Pepper, herbs and pepper.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Season scallops with Cajun Seasoning and Blackened Seasoning. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Add olive oil and one tablespoon of butter to the pan.  Add garlic and onion.  Sauté for three minutes until softened.   

Add all ingredients to pan, including shrimp shells and lemon slices, but exclude the brown sugar and remaining butter.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer, about 30 minutes.

Seafood BBQ Sauce Boiling Away

Strain.  Return strained liquid to pan.  Add the brown sugar and chilled butter, one cube at a time, until sauce thickens.  Your goal is to get about 4 or 5 tablespoons of basting sauce at the end.

Spray grill with cooking spray.  Preheat grill to 400°.

Skewer 8 shrimp on a metal kabob.  Add to grill.  Grill five minutes on one side.  Baste continuously with the basting sauce.  Flip and cook for another five minutes.  Baste continuously.

Note:  When I do both the shrimp and the scallops, I like to reserve about an 1/8 cup of the basting sauce for those scallops.  This is an eyeball recipe so reserve as much or as little as you wish!

BBQ Scallops

Add one tablespoon of butter to cast iron skillet.  Heat on high.  Add scallops.  Cook for three-to-four minutes.  Turn scallops and add remaining basting sauce to the pan.  Cook for two more minutes

Suggested side dishes:  Grilled corn-on-the-cob, cucumber and Vidalia onion salad with sour cream and dill dressing, and Jalapeño corn bread. 

Once again, Happy Memorial Day and to all of you who served and to those who lost family or friends in our fright for freedom, this meal is for you!
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