When I awoke Saturday morning, I heard a sign coming from nature. It came in the form of bird calls. Lots and lots and lots of bird calls. In fact, the birds get so loud around here in the summer, it almost sounds jungle-like. And because we live on the water… we get a combination of waterfowl calls (loons, coots, mallards, seagulls, geese, cranes, etc.) along with all the other regular bird calls. (I’m sure there’s an appropriate name for regular birds collectively, but I don’t know what it is right now and I’m not going to stop to look it up.) I actually made a recording for you of the chorus of birds but can’t get a link to work, so… you’ll just have to believe me. It’s loud! Anyway… so when it hit me on Saturday morning that they’re back!…. naturally I thought of food. No, really. I did. I was thinking warm weather is definitely in full swing now and it’s high time to post something from the grill!
A most post-worthy meal that I make is this recipe out of Bon Appétit from a few years ago. I’ve made it many times and always to the delight and happy grunts from the men in my family. I happen to love it, too, but…I don’t make noises. The key to this is the smoked paprika, which I have to emphasize… is not the same as regular paprika and should not be substituted. If you don’t have smoked paprika, it’s not hard to find so I highly recommend adding it to your arsenal of spices. Served with a starchy side and a summery salad, you’ve got yourself a fantastic meal!
Grilled Shrimp and Sausage Skewers with Smoky Paprika Glaze
Bon Appétit | June 2010 by Jeanne Kelley
These delicious kebabs are a Spanish take on surf and turf. Because the skewers aren’t on the grill long enough to cook fresh sausages, fully cooked sausages are used here.
Yield: Makes 6 servings
3/4 cup olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, pressed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
5 teaspoons smoked paprika*
4 teaspoons Sherry wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
12 uncooked extra-large shrimp (13 to 15 per pound), peeled, deveined
12 1-inch-long pieces andouille or other fully cooked smoked sausages (such as linguiça; about 16 ounces)
12 cherry tomatoes
12 2-layer sections of red onion wedges
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
Special equipment: 6 long metal skewers
Whisk oil, garlic, thyme, smoked paprika, Sherry wine vinegar, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper in medium bowl to blend for glaze. Transfer half of glaze to small bowl and reserve for serving.
Alternately thread shrimp, sausage pieces, cherry tomatoes, and sections of onion wedges on each of 6 long metal skewers. Arrange skewers on large rimmed baking sheet. DO AHEAD: Can be made up to 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill skewers and bowls of glaze separately.
Coat grill rack with nonstick spray and prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush skewers on both sides with glaze from 1 bowl. Grill until shrimp are opaque in center, turning and brushing occasionally with more glaze, 6 to 8 minutes.
Arrange skewers on platter. Serve with remaining bowl of glaze.
* Sometimes labeled Pimentón Dulce or Pimentón de La Vera Dulce; available at some supermarkets, at specialty foods stores, and from latienda.com.