M. Andrew Gordon

Grilled Shrimp with Coconut Risotto

In Main Dish, Seafood, Side Dishes on June 5, 2010 at 5:16 am

On Monday I was hanging out at my parent’s house and decided that rather than get stuck in any traffic meandering back from the Cape toward Boston in the haze of Quebecois smoke, it would be just as easy to stay the afternoon and eat dinner at their house.  We took a quick assessment of what we had available and decided to grill shrimp and corn and serve it alongside some rice.  Sounded easy enough.

The whole meal

Grilling shrimp is probably the easiest thing to cook, right alongside toast and grilled cheese.  Once they hit the heat of a grill, it takes a matter of minutes before you know they’re done.  And those little crustaceans also turn pink, letting you know when they’ve finished cooking.  Grilling corn is one of the highlights of the summer season for me, resulting in pleasantly charred cobs that are never soggy.  My biggest pet peeve about corn is when it has been boiled in a pot of water and left to sit.  It’s repulsive, turning perfectly good corn into something that I expect to be poured out of a can sixteen years after nuclear war has left me huddled in a bunker.  In the past I have grilled corn directly on the grill, wrapped bare cobs in foil, and pulled back the husks, removed the silk, and tied the husks back over the corn.  They all work and they all have the shortcomings.  The naked corn gets too burned, the foiled cob can get charred or be left too moist, and the pull-back-the-husk method is a nuisance.  On Monday, per Lena’s suggestion, we pulled about half the husks off and threw them right on the grill, the remaining husks and silk still intact.  I was suspicious.  But when time came to try eating the corn, I was amazed at how easily the silk pulled away with the husk, yielding a perfectly grilled ear of corn.  Consider me converted.

For the rice, I wanted to do something a little different.  I had recently made a Mark Bittman recipe for coconut rice using jasmine rice and coconut milk as the only liquid.  But the only rice we had available was Arborio rice so it looked like we were having risotto.  This recipe makes a very nice risotto that is extremely rich while only adding coconut milk and stock to the rice.  The coconut flavor comes through and while tasting a little bit sweet, pairs nicely with the grilled shrimp.

Grilled Shrimp with Coconut Risotto and Grilled Corn

  • 1 lb shrimp, thawed, deveined, and shelled
  • ¼ cup butter (1 stick)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Zest of 1 lime; lime then halved
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 vidalia onion, diced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 can chicken stock
  • 4 ears corn
  1. Skewer shrimp and set aside.  Combine coconut milk and stock, whisking to combine.
  2. In small saucepan, melt butter over low heat and add garlic and lime zest.  Cook for five minutes, stirring several times.  Squeeze half of lime into pan and stir.
  3. Light grill and let warm.  Arrange coals so that one side of grill is cooler or if using a gas grill, keep one burner unlit to achieve the same thing.
  4. Pull off half of the outer layers of corn husk.  Place corn on grill over the cooler side and cook for 20-25 minutes, rotating every five minutes.
  5. In large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Cook onion until soft and translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes.  Add rice and stir to cover in oil, cooking for about one minute.  Pour about one cup of coconut-stock mixture over rice and stir to combine.  Let cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has absorbed.  Add about ½ cup of the stock mixture and again let cook, stirring, until liquid is absorbed.  Continue until all liquid is used.
  6. Oil grates on grill and place shrimp skewers on grill.  Brush liberally with melted butter.  Cook for 2 minutes on each side or until shrimp are pink.  Just before pulling off the grill, squeeze the remaining lime half over shrimp.
  7. Serve shrimp with risotto and corn.
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