Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Weekend Gourmet Flashback: Spicy Cheese-Stuffed Shrimp with Andouille Rice Pilaf #grilling #summercooking #shrimp #bigflavorfood

Growing up on the Texas Gulf Coast, my love of shrimp started from an early age. What's not to love? It cooks in minutes...and it's naturally low in fat and calories! We eat shrimp at least once a week during the Summer, so I’m always looking for flavorful new ways to cook this versatile crustacean. Do you like to grill seafood? I definitely do! My Spicy Cheese-Stuffed Shrimp with Andouille Rice Pilaf is perfect for Summer grilling! This flavorful dish combines lots of my favorite flavors into one bite. Extra large wild caught Gulf shrimp are stuffed with a bit of aged cheddar cheese. Then, they're brushed with a spicy, buttery sauce as they grill. The grilled shrimp are served over an easy rice pilaf flavored with spicy andouille sausage, onion, and garlic. This dish comes to the table assembled on a pretty platter ready to serve.

Spicy Cheese-Stuffed Shrimp
 with Andouille Rice Pilaf
a Weekend Gourmet Original
Ingredients (serves 2-3, but can easily be doubled):
  • 1 lb. extra large wild-caught Gulf shrimp (U10-15 is perfect!)
  • 4 oz. aged sharp cheddar cut into matchstick pieces
For the butter sauce:
  • ½ stick salted butter
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 tsp. hot sauce [NOTE: I use Crystal hot sauce]
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. Creole seasoning
  • 1 Tbs. chopped parsley
For the rice pilaf:
  • 1 package yellow rice mix
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 2/3 cup finely diced andouille sausage
  • ½ cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
Step 1: Prepare the yellow rice with 1 tbs. butter according to package directions. While the rice is cooking, add the olive oil to a skillet over med-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the andouille and onion. Cook, stirring every few minutes, until the onion is softened and the andouille is browned. Add the garlic and parsley, give the mixture a stir, and cook for another 1-2 minutes. When the rice has cooked for 25 minutes, remove the lid and stir in the andouille-onion mixture. Cover the rice and turn off the heat. Set aside while you grill the shrimp.
Step 2: Make the spicy butter sauce by adding the butter, garlic, Worcestershire, hot sauce, lime juice, Creole seasoning, and parsley in a small bowl. Microwave at 30-second intervals, until melted – be sure to give the sauce a stir between each 30-second interval in the microwave. Set the sauce aside.
Step 3: Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tail segment intact. Butterfly the shrimp and place 1-2 matchstick pieces of the aged cheddar inside. Enclose the cheese in the shrimp by holding the shrimp together with 1-2 toothpicks. Heat a grill to high heat and spray with non-stick spray. Cook the shrimp for 3 minutes, brush with half of the butter sauce, and carefully flip the shrimp over to ensure you don't disturb the cheese. Brush the shrimp with the remaining butter sauce and cook an additional 3 minutes – until the shrimp are cooked through and the cheese is melted.
Step 4: Spoon the andouille rice pilaf onto a serving platter. Remove the toothpicks from the cooked shrimp and arrange them on top of the rice pilaf. It really makes an eye-catching presentation!
Goodness, this is one fabulous dish! The shrimp cook up plump and sweet...and grilling gives them a great smoky flavor. The spice level of the buttery glaze provides just enough heat. If you prefer your food more fiery, simply add a bit more hot sauce -- or a pinch of cayenne pepper -- to the butter sauce. The rice pilaf is colorful and spicy from the addition of the andouille sausage mixture. Both components of the dish combine to make a delicious meal. I like to serve this dish with ears of sweet corn-on-the-cob...but grilled zucchini or a simple salad would work great too. 

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