Friday, June 28, 2013

Jamaican Jerk Shrimp Skewers over Smashed Plantains

Jamaican Jerk Shrimp Skewers over Smashed Plantains
(for two)

This simple recipe is great for summer evenings or for entertaining (multiplied of course). The warm spice of the Jamaican Jerk Shrimp, the juiciness of the bell peppers and the sweetness of the smashed plantains create a Caribbean inspired flavor experience that you’re sure to enjoy!


Jamaican Jerk Shrimp Skewers:

- 16 large uncooked shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 2 medium bell peppers ( I used red and green)
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
-¼ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar (packed)
- 2 teaspoons sweetened coconut flakes (packed)
-  2 tablespoons olive oil
- Extra salt and ground black pepper to taste

Smashed Plantains:

-2 medium ripe plantains (yellow in color with some brown spots)
- Coconut oil
- Salt to taste

To make the Jerk Spice Rub: Measure out the nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, thyme, cayenne pepper, salt and ground black pepper into a ramekin or small bowl. Stir together with a fork until well combined.

Add the brown sugar and the coconut flakes, stir to combine and set aside.

Cut up the bell peppers into large chunks. 

Place them into a mixing bowl, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and stir to coat the peppers evenly with the oil and seasonings.

Pat the shrimp dry and place in a separate mixing bowl. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the shrimp, sprinkle with a little bit of salt and toss with a spoon. Add the Jerk Spice Rub to the bowl and gently toss with the spoon until the shrimp are evenly coated.

Preheat your grill – high heat. Then prepare a station for making your skewers: You will need 4 skewers and a plate to put them on after they are assembled.

Thread the bell pepper chunks and shrimp onto the skewers, alternating between the two. Make sure to pierce through the shrimp as shown in the picture (right through the middle of the “C” shape) as this will be the most stable position for them while grilling.

Place the completed skewers on the plate.

Return to the grill, reduce the heat to medium and place a large cast iron skillet on it to pre-heat.

With a sharp knife, carefully (without pressing too hard) slice through the skin down the length of the plantain. The skin should peel off easily.

Slice the plantain in half lengthwise.

Then, pinching the two halves together, slice the plantain crosswise, creating chunks. Repeat with the second plantain.

Cover the bottom of the cast iron skillet with coconut oil and allow it to heat for a few seconds. Add the plantains to the hot oil and cook, turning occasionally until the pieces are golden on all sides. With the back of a spatula, spoon or turner, smash the plantains down a bit as they cook. If necessary, add a bit more coconut oil to the pan through the cooking process to prevent the plantains from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

While the plantains are cooking, add the shrimp skewers to the grill. 

Turn them when the tails turn pink. Grill until the shrimp are firm and pink in color. They may need slightly more cooking time than the plantains.

When the plantains have finished cooking, remove the pan from the heat. Gently smash the plantains with the back of a fork, then cover the skillet until ready to serve.

To serve: place half of the smashed plantains onto each plate, then top with two of the shrimp skewers. Enjoy with a leafy green salad!

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