Summer Sizzle

Nothing says summer’s here quite like the first barbeque of the season. Don’t get me wrong, we are lucky enough to grill pretty much year round, despite the wet weather and sometimes snow. Our grill has also served us well in times of power outage. Having a side burner to boil water for tea certainly comes in handy when the power goes out.

Our family cooks all kinds of stuff on the grill. Some of the family favourites include asparagus, bell peppers, potatoes, whole salmon, pineapple, bananas, peaches . . . you name it, we grill it!

One of the easiest (and fastest) things I like to grill are pesto prawn skewers. Each year, my mom and I make our own pesto using basil grown in the garden. We freeze it in ice cube trays to make ideal portion sizes. Defrost the frozen cubes in the sun, add a bit of olive oil to make it more spreadable, add in the peeled prawns and toss to coat and all the hard work is done.  Set the bowl in the refrigerator to let the prawns marinated and absorb all that basil goodness.
Successful skewers begin with soaking the wooden skewers in water for about an hour. This keeps them moist and prevents them from burning when on the grill (yeh, I know . . . there are metal skewers out there especially designed for grilling…one day I’ll pick some up). Then I thread the marinated prawns onto the skewers, usually six per skewer. In a package of 31 – 40 count prawns, I end up with six skewers. I line them up when I put them on; tail ends all facing the same direction. Then it’s onto the grill they go, at a 90 degree angle from the grill slats so that they don’t fall in as sacrifice to the Grill God (that’s what asparagus is for).

Prawns cook quite quickly on the grill, depending on your temperature. Essentially, the prawns need to turn from translucent to white and firm with pink veining. This usually takes about two or three minutes; flip the skewers, baste with pesto marinade, and two or three minutes more.
You can serve the prawns as they are on the skewers, and use a fork to pull them off. Often I’ll put these out as an appetizer while preparing the main meal. Or, I’ll take them off the skewers and add them to the top of a salad with other grilled seafood such as scallops, salmon and a white fish like halibut or cod.

They also work well on a bed of pasta (remember that side burner I mentioned? Perfect for boiling pasta) with the grilled bell peppers and asparagus.
Grilled prawns lend themselves well to a variety of dishes and are a great way to start your summer grilling season . . . (or throughout the year)

No comments:

Post a Comment