Friday, May 27, 2022

Gearing Up for Memorial Day...Featuring Spicy Cheese-Stuffed Shrimp with Andouille Rice Pilaf #memorialdayfood #grilling #shrimp #summerfood

Memorial Day is coming up on Monday! Most importantly, it's a day to reflect and remember military members who have given their lives protecting our country. These days, Memorial Day is also widely considered the official start of Summer...and a time for family and friends to gather. That typically includes cooking and eating delicious food! I have a perfect grilling recipe that features wild caught Gulf shrimp. 
My Spicy Cheese-Stuffed Shrimp with Andouille Rice Pilaf is perfect for al fresco dining and entertaining. This flavorful dish combines many of my favorite flavors in one bite! Jumbo shrimp are stuffed with aged cheddar cheese. Then, they're brushed with a spicy basting sauce as they grill. The shrimp are served over an easy rice pilaf that’s flavored with spicy andouille sausage, onion, and garlic. This dish comes to the table assembled on a pretty has lots of eye appeal. Trust me…you’re going to make this dish all Summer long! If you're reducing your carb intake these days like I am? Simply use cauliflower rice instead of traditional rice.

Spicy Cheese-Stuffed Shrimp with Andouille Rice Pilaf
a Weekend Gourmet Original
Ingredients (serves 2-3, but can easily be doubled):
  • 1 lb. jumbo wild caught Gulf shrimp (10-16/pound)
  • 4 oz. lowfat aged sharp cheddar cut in matchstick pieces
For the basting sauce:
  • 2 TBS butter (melted)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. Creole seasoning
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
For the rice pilaf:
  • 1 package yellow rice mix OR frozen cauliflower rice
  • 1 TBS butter
  • 1/2 cup finely diced andouille sausage OR smoked turkey sausage
  • 1/4 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
Step 1: Prepare the yellow rice OR cauliflower rice with the butter per package directions. While the rice/cauli rice is cooking, add the olive oil to a skillet over med-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the andouille/turkey sausage and onion. Cook, stirring every few minutes, until the onion is translucent and the sausage is browned. Add garlic and parsley, give the mixture a stir, and cook another 1-2 minutes. When the rice/cauli rice is completely cooked, remove the lid and stir in the sausage-onion mixture. Cover the rice/cauli rice again, and turn off the heat. Set the pilaf aside while you grill the shrimp.
Step 2: Make the basting sauce by adding the melted butter, garlic, Worcestershire, hot sauce, lime juice, Creole seasoning, and parsley to a small bowl. Set the finished 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 lowfat cheddar inside. Enclose the cheese in the shrimp by holding them together with 1-2 toothpicks. Heat grill to high heat, and spray with non-stick spray. Cook the shrimp for 3 minutes, brush with half of the sauce, and carefully flip the shrimp over to ensure you keep the cheese inside! Brush shrimp with the remaining sauce, and cook an additional 3 minutes – until the shrimp are cooked through and the cheese is melted.
Step 4: Spoon the pilaf onto a serving platter. Remove the toothpicks from the grilled shrimp and arrange them on top of the pilaf. It really makes an eye-catching presentation!
Goodness, this is one fabulous dish! The sweet Gulf shrimp cook up plump and juicy...and the spice level of the glaze provides just enough heat. If you prefer your food more fiery, add a bit more hot sauce -- or even a pinch of cayenne pepper -- to the basting sauce. The pilaf is colorful and full of big flavor. This dish is perfectly paired with a simple chilled salad using crisp in-season veggies. 

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