I love grilled shrimp. In the past I have always leaned towards a "MD style" shrimp, which has an apple cider vinegar brine with a ton of Old Bay seasoning. Well, my love of garlic has pulled me away from that recipe for a while and I came up with this one. It's really easy, all you need is about 20-30 shrimp (however many you want to eat), a whole head of garlic, some oil and black pepper. The garlic flavor of these grilled garlic shrimp will have you licking your fingers for quite a while after!
I like to grill shrimp with the shell on. This provides a bit more thermal protection to the tender shrimp. When you grill shrimp with the shell on you need to up your flavoring quite a bit as the shell will be disposed of and most of the garlic will fall into the grill. The flavor has to be so strong that it will get into the shrimp and on your fingers. Look at the photo above and appreciate the amount of garlic!
First, dice one whole head of garlic. Not just one clove of garlic; the whole head! The whole head will have about 15 or so cloves. Take the paper outside off of each clove and dice the garlic. Toss all of the garlic on the raw shrimp, pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top, and then sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of black pepper all over. Mix this up and let sit in the fridge for about an hour or so.
After the hour, carefully skewer the shrimp. I like to use two skewers per row of shrimp. This makes it easy to turn on the grill. One skewer allows the shrimp to rotate, but two will keep them all together and even. I don't bother soaking the skewers in water. The key is to use a mild medium low heat, then your skewers will be ok.
As I mention above, the key to grilling shrimp is a mild heat. Shrimp are very tender and will be destroyed with a high heat. If you are only grilling shrimp, it's easy to set up a medium low heat and you can place the skewered shrimp right over the heat, and grill for about 3 minutes per side. The shrimp are done when they are a rich orange. Things get more complicated when you are grilling steaks and shrimp at the same time. This requires a multi zone heat: a high heat for the steak, an indirect "no coal" area (for properly grilling a 1 inch thick steak), and a lower heat area large enough to handle the shrimp. Advanced grilling, right? Actually, it's pretty easy. Picture a peace sign. Make one area high heat, the other a medium low heat, and have the third area with no coals. Groovy.
I absolutely love the steak and shrimp combination, especially with this grilled garlic shrimp recipe. No steak house can compete with this!