Friday, March 15, 2013

BBQ Shrimp over Spinach Rice

When I was 13, I went to a barbecue at one of my mom's friend's houses. I'm not really into crowds of people, so I usually pick a spot in the corner and stick to it. This time I hung out with the kid that was manning the grill. Well, he wasn't really a kid at the time; he was 23. I say "kid" now because I am almost 10 years beyond that, but I was 10 years his junior back then - perspective is everything!

Anyway, in addition to the standard burgers, dogs, and chicken, he made barbecue shrimp. I thought this was quite an odd pairing, but he insisted I try it as he taught me how to make them. We ate them straight off the grill and they were so, so good. The sweetness of the shrimp and the smokiness of the barbecue sauce are a surprisingly amazing combination. To this day, it is still one of my favorite shrimp recipes.

BBQ Shrimp over Spinach Rice
Makes 4 servings

What I use:

  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled, tailless, deveined (I used medium size, 61-70 per pound)
  • 1/3 c. barbecue sauce
  • any rice you like (I used a wild rice blend)
  • chicken broth, optional
  • 2 c. frozen spinach
  • 1/2 c. sliced almonds

How I do it:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Soak some 5 to 6 inch skewers in water.

3. Get started on your rice, following the package instructions. I substituted 1/3 of the water called for with chicken broth because that's how I like it. (I freeze mine in 1/4 c. amounts - that's why my rice pot looks like it has owl eyes.)

4. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray it with cooking spray.

5. Skewer the shrimp and lay them out on the sheet. (A perfect mini sous chef job.)

6. Brush the barbecue sauce on the shrimp. Flip them over and get both sides.

7. Bake the shrimp in the oven for 12 to 18 minutes, just until they are done. The time will vary depending on the size of shrimp you are using. My medium size shrimp were done right around 15 minutes.

8. When the rice has 5 minutes left on the cooking time, add the spinach and almonds, and stir it all together.

9. Remove the shrimp from the oven. Serve them over the rice.

The family says:

  • K liked the rice and loved the shrimp. He asked if he could have a few dozen more. Literally.
  • Andrew did not like the rice but said that he wanted an entire batch of the shrimp all to himself.
  • Barbecue shrimp is one of my favorite seafood dishes so I was loving this. The rice was pretty good, but I used a blend I had never tried before and it didn't knock my socks off. I should have used a rice I knew I liked - next time I will probably use plain or basmati.

We all have favorite food combos that taste better than they sound. What's yours?

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