Magazine article Sunset

Beach Barbecue

Magazine article Sunset

Beach Barbecue

Article excerpt

It's hard to beat a party at the coast-especially when shrimp's on the grill

Cooking at the beach is more fun than trouble these days, with the large array of totable barbecues-both charcoal and gas-available. And throwing some shrimp on one is so easy it has become a cliché in the best sense. We've added a dip to serve with veggies to start the meal and a great, packable summer salad to go on the side.

A few tricks make everything fresher and tastier: Make your own hummus; it takes little time and is far better than most kinds you can buy. Cure the shrimp briefly in salt and sugar to tenderize and flavorize, then transport them on skewers in their marinade. Carry the salad in layers, then dress and mix it at the beach.

Finally, get creative with s'mores for dessert. Marshmallows melt as well over a grill as over a fire, and sandwiched with yummy new layers-chocolate wafer cookies and strawberries, for instance-they make watching the sun set over the water extra sweet.

Creamy Hummus

PREP TIME: About 7 minutes

MAKES: About 1¼ cups; 6 to 8 servings

NOTES: You can prepare this hummus through step 2 up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill. Serve with pocket bread or chunks of sesame-crusted bread and raw vegetables like cucumber slices, red bell pepper strips, baby carrots, celery and jicama sticks, and radishes.

1 can (15 oz.) garbanzos

2 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 or 2 cloves garlic, peeled

Salt and pepper

1. Pour garbanzos into a fine strainer set over a bowl to collect liquid; reserve liquid.

2. In a blender, combine garbanzos, 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, sesame oil, garlic, and 1/3 cup of the reserved garbanzo liquid. Whirl until smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste, and, if mixture is too stiff, 1 to 2 more tablespoons liquid; hummus should be soft but still stiff enough to hold its shape. Scrape into a shallow serving bowl.

3. Shortly before serving, drizzle with 2 more tablespoons olive oil if desired.

Per serving: 110 col., 47% (52 cal.) from fat; 2.7 g protein; 5.8 g fat (0.8 g sat.); 13 g carbo (1 g fiber); 1 60 rng sodium; 0 mg chol.

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp Skewers

PREP AND COOK TIME: About 1 hour, plus at least 45 minutes to cure

MAKES: 6 to 8 servings

NOTES: A brief cure in salt and sugar not only adds flavor to the shrimp and makes them more tender but also acts as a mild preservative for transporting them. You can assemble the skewers through step 2 up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill.

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons sugar

2 to 2½ pounds peeled, deveined shrimp (12 to 15 per lb.), rinsed and drained

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup chopped parsley

1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

2 or 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

½ teaspoon fresh-ground pepper Lemon wedges

1. In a bowl, mix salt and sugar. Add shrimp and stir gently to coat. Cover and chill 45 minutes to 1 hour. Rinse shrimp well and drain; also rinse and dry bowl.

2. Return shrimp to bowl. Add olive oil. parsley, lemon peel, garlic, and pepper. Mix to coat. Thread shrimp on metal or soaked wooden skewers, running skewer through the body once near the tail and once near the head end of each shrimp so it looks like the letter C.

3. Lay shrimp skewers on an oiled barbecue grill over hot coals or high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds) ; close lid on gas grill. Cook, turning once, until shrimp are bright pink and opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part (cut to test), 5 to 6 minutes total. …

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