Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Foodbuzz Featured Publisher: My Favorite Springtime Menu...Featuring Shrimp and Lemon Rosemary Skewers

Even if the calendar didn’t already say so, I can vouch that Spring has definitely sprung in Texas! Temperatures have been mostly in the 70s the past couple of weeks, and the bluebonnets are blooming like crazy between here and Austin. As you can see, frolicking in the bluebonnets is something I enjoy doing! Forget the groundhog...when Texans start seeing bluebonnets and other wildflowers blooming? It’s Spring! That’s why I was so excited to be chosen to take part in a special Foodbuzz Featured Publisher post to create my favorite Springtime meal and share it with you! Spring is a time for lighter foods and fresh flavors, so that was my idea when I submitted my proposed menu to them a couple of weeks ago.

The Springtime al fresco menu I sent to Foodbuzz features several of my favorite warm-weather foods and flavors. My menu features the following: Zesty Caprese Pasta Salad, Shrimp and Lemon Rosemary Skewers, and corn on the cob with my homemade Citrus-Herb Compound Butter. The flavors I chose were specifically designed to complement each other. The compound butter that’s brushed on the grilled shrimp skewers and the corm is flavored with the ingredients that I used my pasta salad and the shrimp: garlic, lemon, rosemary, and basil. I saved time by prepping the pasta salad and compound butter the night before and letting them hang out in the fridge overnight so the flavors could combine nicely.

By taking an hour or so to do some of the prep work and making the pasta salad the night before, this meal can be on the table in about 30 minutes. Both shrimp and corn cook quickly, so they’re ready in just a few minutes once the prep work is completed. I like to serve this meal with my Refreshing POM-Berry Sparkler or my version of Giada's Sparkling White Sangria. To me? Miles Davis's Kind of Blue is the perfect chill background music to have playing while you enjoy this dinner!! I’m sharing the recipe for the delicious, simple grilled shrimp skewers today...but be sure to come back on Friday to get the recipe for the flavor-packed pasta salad!

Shrimp and Lemon Rosemary Skewers
a Weekend Gourmet Original

Step 1: Make the citrus-herbcompound butter by adding the following ingredients to a medium-sized bowl: 1 stick softened salted butter (the real deal, please!), 1 tsp. granulated garlic, 1 tsp. dried parsley, the zest of one small lemon, 2-3 shakes of Tabasco, 1 tsp. finely chopped rosemary, 3 finely chopped basil leaves, and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Stir well to thoroughly combine all ingredients. Place in a small ramekin and refrigerate until you're ready to cook the shrimp skewers.

Step 2:  Strip the needles from all by the top inch of six longish sprigs of rosemary. Reserve the needles in a ziploc bag for future use. Alternate three jumbo shrimp (peeled and deveined, with tail intact) and three thin slices of lemon on the rosemary sprigs. Season with salt and pepper. Preheat a cast-iron grill pan over med-high heat for five minutes, then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Place three of the skewers in the pan and let them sear for about 3 minutes...carefully flip them over and sear for another 2-3 minutes on the other side. Repeat the process with the other three skewers. 

Step 3:  Place the cooked skewers on a serving platter and brush them generously with the reserved compound butter. Place two skewers on each plate, along with a serving of the Zesty Caprese Pasta Salad and an ear of corn on the cob. Bring the ramekin of the compound butter to the table so people can spread it on the corn. 

I especially loved how the rosemary sprigs and lemon imparted a gentle citrus-rosemary flavor to the shrimp as they grilled...and the compound butter brushed on just before serving took the flavor over the top! The caprese pasta salad is colorful and full of flavor from homemade shallot-infused vinaigrette. And really...what’s not to love about sweet fresh corn on the cob slathered with more of that wonderful flavored butter? 

This post was sponsored by Frigidaire. When you check out Suzanne Goin's springtime recipes at www.maketimeforchange.com, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children's U.S. programs. Plus, you'll be entered for a chance to win the new Frigidaire Range with SymmetryTM Double Ovens – featuring two large ovens (that can each fit up to a 28 pound turkey!), providing the flexibility to cook multiple dishes at the same time at different temperatures, so you can get more on the table at the same time. I hope you enjoyed my favorite Spring menu...and that you’ll give these easy and delicious shrimp skewers a try as the weather turns warmer! I promise you won’t be disappointed!!

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