Cedar wrapped balsamic shrimp, with peppers and cilantro.
This is one of those things where it felt like my sock drawer had a collision with the ocean and my kitchen. Shrimp and cedar? Weird right?
I've heard of grilling salmon on planks, and even found a really sweet recipe last Christmas for planked figs and pancetta. I didn't know however, you could buy sheets of wood so thin it's almost like paper. But I'm always up for new things, even though cooking meat successfully is difficult for me (I almost always ruin it or overcook it), and I definitely can't grill. What could be difficult about wrapping up some fresh seafood in paper and grilling it?
Nothing actually. It was as easy as it sounded.
The idea with cedar wrappers (or any plank grilling) is to soak the wood in water/juice/wine/whatever. Then when you grill your food on the soaked wood, you infuse your food with all the smokey goodness and flavor of the wood. I'm a newbie at this, so I soaked the cedar wraps in water for 20 min.
Probably one of the reasons I'm so bad with grilling, is I tend to forgo the recipe. In this case however, my lackadaisical cooking paid off, because this shrimp could not have tasted better.
I tossed together some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, with shrimp, cilantro, red bell pepper, red pepper flakes and garlic. And that was that.
I really wish I could say it was harder, that I slaved away, or that it took an incredible amount of skill, but honestly it took about 10 min. The filling was ready to go by the time the wrappers were done soaking.
I arranged the shrimp mixture on the cedar wood like I was making a burrito.
Then wrapped it up and tied it with twine.
The hardest part was finding the end to the twine. (don't judge me...ahem)
Grilled it on med high...three min on each side and it was done!
I served it with wild rice pilaf and salad with a cucumber dill dressing (the coolness of cucumber dill dressing helped tone down the spiciness of the shrimp).
Jim gave it an enthusiastic thumbs up...the kids liked it ok, but weren't a fan of the spiciness.
I can't wait to try planked chicken next.
1/2 lb Shrimp
3 T C balsamic vinegar
2 T olive oil
2 cloves of garlic minced
half bunch of cilantro chopped (if you don't like cilantro, you could use parsley)
1 t red pepper flakes (ommit these entirely if you don't like spicy food)
half bell pepper diced
Salt to taste
Combine in a bowl, put half of mixture on each cedar wrap. Roll with the grain, tie with twine. Grill on med high for 3 min/side.
I used Outdoor Gourmet's Cedar Wraps.