jamaican grilled shrimp

     We had a few friends out to the homestead. The occasion was a casual, little birthday supper for my husband. I was serving grilled pork chops, homemade mashed potatoes, steamed veggies and the very first apple crisp of the Fall season.
     But... before dinner was served, a little snacking was in order as our guests slowly trickled in. This was our Intro & Get Acquainted portion of the night.
     I made my favorite hummus with home-baked pita chips and olive tapenade. I also prepared something new to my repertoire... spicy Jamaican Grilled Shrimp on top of a little appetizer-sized salad with homemade Orange-Cumin Vinaigrette.
     I kept the plates small and the green stuff minimal... so as not to frighten those strangest of creatures, the Veggie-phobes. Now seriously, how could you resist spicy, perfectly grilled shrimp perched atop a tiny green salad? It was very non-threatening!
     I purchased my fresh, wild-caught Georgia shrimp at our local farmers' market. They were amazing! For an appetizer serving, I gave each guest one skewer of five shrimp, served on a dessert-sized plate with a little salad. For lunch or dinner... just upsize it!
Ingredients
3 pounds large shrimp, washed and peeled
3 T. Jamaican Jerk seasoning (or less, if you want less heat)
zest and juice of one nice, fat orange
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
two bags, any type of greens to include: arugula, spinach, butter lettuce, spring mix or romaine
1 package julienned carrots
pear or grape tomatoes, halved
chunk of reduced fat feta, crumbled
bamboo skewers, soaked in water
Honey-Cumin Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Directions
Wash and peel shrimp. Be careful not to let the little spear-thingy at the back of the tail gouge you. (I'm currently typing with a bandage on my right index finger. Ouch.)
Place the skewers in a sink of water. Or a bowl. Or a bowl IN the sink... you decide.
In a container for marinating, (a zipper bag, Tupperware or non-metal mixing bowl,) blend Jerk seasoning, orange parts and oil. Toss in shrimp and move them around in the sauce until everyone is coated and happy. Mmmm. Place covered in the refrigerator until ready to skewer and grill.
Now prepare the green stuff. Combine lettuces, feta, carrots and tomatoes in a large bowl. Keep it cold while you make the dressing.
Drain the skewers and place five shrimp on each one. Set them on a sheet pan with sides or another comparable vessel. Discard marinade.
When people begin to wander in looking faint and famished, heat your grill and plate the salad. Make sure every plate gets a bit of feta, a tomato or two and some carrots. Pretty is very important, people!
Place shrimp on to sear. But, wait... Stop right there! Don't get distracted and mosey off... shrimp cook very quickly. Turn over to mark the other side, then remove to a nice platter.
When slightly cooled, place desired amount of skewers on top of salad. Drizzle sparingly with dressing and enjoy.
Orange-Cumin Vinaigrette
Ingredients
6 T. e.v. olive oil
2 T. white wine vinegar
2 T. sweet-hot mustard
1 T. raw honey
1/2 c. freshly squeezed orange juice
1 clove garlic, grated
2 t. ground cumin
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Directions
Whisk together first five ingredients. Grate or press garlic into dressing. Add rest of seasonings and taste. Correct if needed. Serve over salad greens.
Leftovers the next day for lunch... Lucky me!

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