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Grilled Shrimp with Honey-Ginger Barbecue Sauce

Makes 8 servings
  • Active time: 1 1/2 hr
    Total time: 2 hr
Of all the ways to prepare shrimp, the grill delivers the best flavor. Although unadorned "shrimp on the barbie" are great, an easily assembled gingery barbecue sauce makes them that much better. You can save time by buying already shelled and deveined shrimp, but our recipe developer, Alexis Touchet, who grew up in shrimp country in southwest Louisiana, thinks shell-on shrimp are better quality. 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.

This recipe is part of our Gourmet Modern Menu for A Fourth of July Cookout. Click here to view the full menu.
Published in Gourmet Live 06.27.12

INGREDIENTS:

For the Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup mild 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

For the Shrimp:

  • 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 deveined (See Cooks' Notes)
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

EQUIPMENT:

  • 18 to 24 (12-inch) wooden skewers (depending on size of shrimp used), soaked in water for 30 minutes

INSTRUCTIONS:

For the Sauce:

  • 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.) Reserve half of sauce for serving.

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); see Grilling Procedure below.
  • 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.

COOKS' 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.

GRILLING PROCEDURE:

Charcoal Grilling Instructions:

  • Open vents on bottom of grill: Light a large chimney starter full of charcoal (preferably hardwood).

For Direct-heat Cooking:

  • When coals are lit, dump them out across bottom rack, leaving a space free of coals on one side of grill equal to the size of the food to be grilled where food can be moved in case of any flare-ups.
  • When charcoal turns grayish white (start checking coals after 15 minutes), the grill will be at its hottest and will then begin to cool off. It will be at the proper medium-hot temperature when you can hold your hand 5 inches above the grill rack (directly over the coals) for 3 to 4 seconds.

Gas Grilling Instructions:

  • Preheat all burners on high covered, 10 minutes, then adjust heat according to recipe.
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