Appetizers, Main course, Salads

Spicy grilled shrimp skewers with black bean and corn slaw

Happy 2012!

Honestly, when I look at the number 2012, I feel like I’m in one of those ’90s futuristic sci-fi movies, where everyone should be driving flying cars and wearing white skin-hugging bodysuits. Saying “2012” just conjures up those images in my head. I guess I’m weird that way.

Its interesting how when you’re young you have this idea in your mind of how your life will turn out in the future. And yet life is such an uncontrollable force. It throws change at you, usually in the most unexpected and unpredictable ways. At least thats been my experience. Maybe ya’ll had your 10, 20, 30 year plans all mapped out when you were 21, and actually saw them come to pass. But the story of my life has been filed with… not “twists and turns”, but rather upside down 360 degree flips… thats a better way to describe it. Some wonderfully unexpected, like my widowed mother-in-laws recent whirlwind romance to the most fabulous guy (see picture below),

but a few really unwelcome ones as well, like my husbands debilitating illness this past year. Lets skip that photo.

Rather, here is a picture I took of him last week, enjoying the sunset. He’s been feeling so much better this past month.

“So God, I know you’re listening, please send me a few more of those unexpectedly awesome 360 degree life flips, I’d be really happy with just one or two. amen.”

Feel free to click on over to one of those super-happy-funny-blogs that write about their perfect life, funny pets, and the new cookbook they’re coming out with this spring! I won’t hold it against ya.

ok, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system…

On to what you really came here to read… these spicy (but not overly so), bursting with flavor bbq shrimp skewers, and a corn and black bean slaw-salad that I know sounds like it belongs on a summer menu, but in my defense, it was freakishly hot here in L.A. on wednesday when I made this, a whopping 82 degrees.
So though I try to cook seasonally, us Californians can run into a bit of a problem with that, since it feels like summer here 75% of the year.

This recipe is super easy and really healthy as well. The shrimp come off the grill with this incredible smokey flavor, intensified by the brown sugar, cumin, serrano chili and garlic that’s in the marinade. They’re kind of addictive, so make a bunch. They’d be great for a Superbowl party, as one of your non-fried items, and will keep the salad-lovin ladies happy.

*slaw disclaimer: some would call this a black bean and corn relish (ahem, that would be Emeril) but to me, this is more like a salad, but the sweet, vinegary tang reminds me of a slaw, minus the shredded cabbage of course. I’m taking some creative license here, so call it what you want, either way its delish!

I usually give step by step instructions, but this is just so simple. Just combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl, toss in your shrimp, skewer and grill. But for old habits’ sake, here are a few steps.

Soak your wooden skewers in hot hot water, while you’re prepping, so they don’t burn on the grill.

Chop the garlic

and the serrano chili

Chop some cillantro (shhh… this is actually parsley, forgot to take this photo so I used parsley as my stand-in).

I don’t pick apart my cillantro leaves, I do the ‘lazy chop’ method, basically just chopping off the end of the bunch, stems and all.  If I see any large stems, I’ll pick them out.  Its just a marinade after all, but I have to confess this is the only way I chop cillantro. I have no patience for picking apart little leaves, none whatsoever.

measure out the rest of the spices for the marinade, and add the lime and olive oil.

Marinade your shrimp for 5 minutes, and then thread them on your soaked wooden skewers.

Meanwhile grill your corn on high heat for 3 minutes or so per side. You can keep the corn husks on, and when they look a bit wilty and brown they’re done.

Cut the kernels off the cob and add to the rest of the slaw ingredients.

Season with salt and pepper, add more lime if you like it a bit more acidic like me.

Grill shrimp 3 minutes per side, for large shrimp (12 count per Lb)

Lay your shrimp skewers on top of your black bean corn slaw, and drizzle with extra marinade. I added brown rice to make this a health conscious dinner portion.

Spicy Bbq Shrimp Skewers
1/4 olive oil
6 cloves minced garlic or 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves, plus more, for garnish
1 jalapeno or serrano chili, (serranos are a bit spicier) seeded and minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon light brown sugar or honey
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 lime, juiced
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1. Soak wooden skewers in boiling hot water for 10 minutes. Light your grill to high.
2. Combine all your marinade ingredients. Set a little aside to drizzle over shrimp after grilling. Add shrimp and marinade 5-10 minutes tops.
3. Thread onto wooden skewers.
4. Grill 3 minutes per side, until shrimp is pink.

Black Bean and Corn Slaw
4 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked corn kernels, cut from the cob, or canned if you must
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced or 1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 jalapeno or 1 1/2 serrano chilis, seeded and finely minced
1/2 bunch scallions (green onions), minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
2 limes, juiced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine all Slaw ingredients
2. Season with salt, pepper.
3. Spread on large platter, top with Shrimp skewers, drizzle a little extra marinade over skewers and garnish with some more chopped cilantro.



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