Saturday, April 26, 2014

Coconut Lime Grilled Shrimp with Pineapple Rice

Last Year's Post: Jewels of Spring: Asparagus Soup and Chicken with Rhubarb Sauce
Two Years Ago:  Special Brunch - Egg Strudel

The weather is finally warmer and it's time to switch to lighter, healthier foods and start grilling!  This recipe couldn't be any more fresh and tropical with the slightly spicy shrimp balanced by the soothing pineapple flavor of the rice.  Serve it with your favorite tropical drink (complete with little umbrella, of course) and you have a party in the making.

I love that this meal is healthy and relatively low-calorie in addition to delicious.  It's extremely easy to make and very fast, once you've marinated the shrimp.  Be sure to notice the marinating time of two hours -  I wouldn't marinate it any longer (like, say, from breakfast to dinner much less overnight) or the lime juice will toughen the shrimp.  So, plan on about 2 1/2 hours from start to finish but only about 30 minutes of active time.  It would perfect for a weekend where you start marinating the shrimp, then work on your garden for an hour or two before focusing on dinner (or a two-hour happy hour, who's to say?).  If you're having a party you could always do a huge platter of just the shrimp for an appetizer and it would be fabulous.

As I mentioned, the shrimp are very slightly warm from the jalapeno.  If you like spicy food I'd leave the jalapeno seeds in when preparing the marinade, or add another jalapeno.  Either way, this is a great change from the same-old burgers, brats and chicken on the grill.

printable recipe
Coconut Lime Grilled Shrimp with Pineapple Rice
Serves 4

Notes:  Requires 2 hours marinating time.  Dried pineapple is more intense than fresh; don’t substitute if possible.  Also, several ingredients are common to both recipes – lime zest, juice and cilantro – and may be prepped one time and divided according to the recipes to save time.

For the shrimp:
2 jalapenos, seeded
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup soy sauce
1 lb uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Wooden skewers, soaked in water at least 30 minutes

For the pineapple rice:
2 cups water
1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
½ cup chopped dried pineapple
1 tablespoon butter
½ teaspoon grated lime zest
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

To prepare the shrimp:  in a food processor, combine the jalapeno, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, coconut, olive oil and soy sauce; blend until smooth.  Place the shrimp in a large zip-top bag and pour the sauce over.  Seal and toss to coat.  Refrigerate for 2 hours to marinate.

Preheat a grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.  Thread the shrimp onto pre-soaked skewers and reserve the marinade.

While the grill is preheating, make the rice:  bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan and add rice and next 4 ingredients (through salt).  Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes until liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat; stir in cilantro, onions and juice.

To grill the shrimp:  place skewers on the preheated grill, turning and basting with the reserved marinade, 2-3 minutes per side, until cooked through.

Serve shrimp skewers over rice.

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