Spicy Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers
We first had shrimp and pineapple skewers at a tapas bar in Logroño, the capital of the Rioja wine region. We often go out on a “tapas crawl,” rather than sitting down for a formal dinner. Our moveable feast usually involves four or five tapas bars, each one offering their special tapas served alongside amazing wines by the glass. After a few glasses, it’s hard to remember the names of all the bars we visited, but we can tell you the one that makes the best pineapple and shrimp skewers is down the street from the small alleyway that connects the two main streets and is only a few blocks behind the Cathedral, or was it the town hall? Anyway, come with us next time and we will show you.
Suggested Wine Pairing: Santiago Ruiz, Albariño Blend, Rias Baixas, Spain
A harmonious mélange of citrus flavors with well tempered minerality partners well with the salinity and fruit of the spicy shrimp and pineapple skewers.
For the shrimp and pineapple skewers:
24 extra large shrimp or 32 large shrimp (about 1 ¼ pounds)
1 large pineapple
1/3 cup olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon chili flakes
2 teaspoon salt
10 12-inch wood skewers
In a pitcher or tall pot, soak the skewers in water for several hours. This will prevent them from burning. You will only use 8 of them, but they sometimes splinter, so it’s good to soak a few extras to be safe.
Clean and devein the shrimp, and remove the tails. (Or buy shrimp that has already been cleaned.) In a glass mixing bowl, stir together olive oil, paprika, chili flakes, and salt. Add shrimp, and lightly toss until well coated.
Remove the stem and bottom from the pineapple, and cut the pineapple into quarters. Remove the core section from each quarter, and cut away the skin. Cut each quarter wedge into 8 even slices, about 1 inch thick.
Run skewers through shrimp and pineapple pieces, alternating one shrimp with one piece of pineapple. If using jumbo shrimp, you will have 3 shrimp per skewer, with extra large, there will be four per skewer. As you work, you will get the shrimp marinade onto the pineapple.
Tear 4 strips of aluminum foil, about 3 inches long. Cut each strip into four pieces, and wrap the exposed ends of your skewers in foil to prevent burning or catching fire.
Using tongs, lay the skewers across a preheated grill. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side, until the shrimp turn pink and begin to curl.
Transfer to a platter, and then to individual plates, and serve. Guests will need a knife and fork to slide the shrimp and pineapple off the skewer and onto their plate.
Tip: Before starting, cover a platter large enough to hold your skewers with 2 or 3 layers of plastic wrap. Lay your uncooked skewers on this platter, and when you transfer them to the grill, simply remove and discard the plastic wrap. You now have a clean platter on which to place the shrimp and pineapple when done!
Copyright © 2012 by The World Wine Guys LLC from THE FIRE ISLAND COOKBOOK, published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.