I had originally intended these shrimp for a beautiful dinner salad… okay, so I was hungry and that salad never happened. That said, I may have possibly stumbled onto the easiest grilled cocktail shrimp ever. Those pictured are U15s (15 or less shrimp per pound) also called colossal size. The size makes them easy for grilling because you don’t have to worry about losing them through the grill grates. However, if i were serving them for a party, I would use a smaller size – jumbo or large – instead.
They were fantastic off the grill (and later, out of the fridge) with just a squeeze of lemon. My dad’s old school 60’s cocktail sauce (recipe below) is the perfect accompaniment.
Lemon-Garlic Cocktail Shrimp
serves six as an appetizer
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Grated zest from 1 lemon
1/4 finely chopped shallots
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup vegetable or other neutral oil
1 pound large, jumbo, or colossal shrimp
Fresh lemon wedges for serving
Skewers or grilling grid
Direct heat grilling
Stir together in a medium mixing bowl everything but the oil and shrimp. Slowly whisk in the oil. Add shrimp and toss to combine. Marinate on the counter top for 1 hour or covered in the refrigerator if it will be longer (up to 4 or 5 hours).
Set up grill for direct cooking over medium to medium-high heat. Brush and oil grate before grilling. I would recommend skewering the shrimp or using a grill grid if grill shrimp smaller than the colossal size.
Remove shrimp from marinade and blot dry. You don’t want the oil from the marinade to cause flare-ups. Place shrimp on hot, oiled grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side (less if using smaller shrimp) or until shrimp has turned opaque. Be careful not to overcook or the shrimp will become tough and rubbery.
Serve warm with lemon wedges or cool to room temperature before refrigerating for a cold cocktail shrimp.
Dad’s Cocktail Sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 to 3 teaspoon fresh or prepared horseradish (not creamy style)
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Stir together all ingredients. Chill in refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving.
Cheers and Happy Grilling!