Saturday, 22 June 2013

Cilantro Chimichurri Grilled Shrimp and Scallops

Now the thing about having an herb garden is that sometimes it bosses you around. You might be planning out your meals for the week and the weather changes, and everything changes with it. It's a "use it or lose it" thing with herbs. They are calling for a major heat wave here for the next four days. Hot, hot sunny weather. So I either had to kiss my cilantro and parsley goodbye, or use it up. I had to think fast on my feet too because everybody knows I hate to go outside to the store in any kind of extreme weather. Ah a Chimichurri of course! And I had everything I needed in the house to put this meal on the table without having to get in the car and burn my hands off on the steering wheel!

So I decided to make shrimp and scallop kebabs since I had some in the freezer. Grilled red pepper and zucchini would go nicely and a side of rice. Easy peasy! But you can use this sauce with chicken, pork or beef too.

For the Chimichurri you'll need:
A bunch of fresh cilantro
A bunch of fresh parsley
2 limes - just the juice
1/2 cup of finely chopped onion
4 finely chopped garlic cloves
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of coriander
1/2 a chopped jalapeno (seeds removed)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon of red chili flakes
1/2 cup of olive oil

In your food processor, chop the onion, garlic and jalapeno. Add the cilantro, parsley, lime juice, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Pulsate all that until it forms a paste. Then slowly add your olive oil as you keep pulsating. If it's too tight, add more olive oil until it's the consistency of mayonnaise. Not runny. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
Refrigerate it until you're ready to use it.

Soak your skewers for at least half an hour and thread on your shrimp and scallops. Season them with a bit of salt, pepper and just a dash of cayenne. Brush the chimichurri sauce onto them and grill them at low heat just for a few minutes per side. Turn them often so they don't scorch. Grill your vegetables at the same time. But they need a bit of higher heat, so keep one side at low heat for your seafood and the other side a medium for your vegetables.

Serve more chimichurri sauce as a garnish at the table. Easy, tasty and I didn't have to lose my cilantro because of Mother Nature's wrath! And this is why it pays to grow your own herbs!

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