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Episode 406: Water Meet Fire

Catalan Grilled Shrimp Kebabs

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Catalan Grilled Shrimp Kebabs

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Method: Direct grilling

Ingredients

For the rub:

  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt (sea or kosher)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (pimentón)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano 
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled

  • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp in the shell
  • 1 medium-size sweet onion, peeled
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares (core and seeds discarded)
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares (core and seeds discarded)
  • 1 cured chorizo sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch slices 
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Saffron alioli (for serving):

  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 pound padron or shishito peppers, grilled, for serving (see Note below)

You'll also need:

  • 10-inch bamboo skewers

Recipe Steps

1: Make the rub:  Combine the spices in a small bowl and mix with your fingers. 

2: Slit the shrimp shells down the back and remove the vein with the tine of a fork. Loosen the shrimp from the shell, then reform the shell around the meat. (The shell will help prevent the shrimp from drying out.)

3: Cut the onion in into sixths. (Discard the furry stem end.)   Separate the onion into pieces, each about 1 inch.  Reserve the smallest pieces for future use.

4: Thread the shrimp, onion, red and green bell peppers, and chorizo slices alternately on the skewers. (Use two per kebab.)   Brush each kebab on both sides with olive oil and season on both sides with the rub.    (You may not need all the rub.)   Let marinate for 10 minutes while you light the grill.

5: Meanwhile, make the saffron alioli.   Crumble the saffron threads into a small bowl.   Add the minced garlic and mash with the back of a spoon.   Add 1 tablespoon boiling water.   Let infuse for 5 minutes.   Place the mayonnaise in a mixing bowl.   Whisk in the saffron garlic mixture, sherry vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste: the alioli should be highly seasoned. 

6: Set up your grill for direct grilling and heat to high.  Brush or scrape the grill grate clean and oil it well.

7: Grill the kebabss until browned and cooked through, 2 minutes per side, 4 minutes in all, basting with olive oil. 

8: Arrange the kebabs on a platter or plates and serve the saffron alioli on the side with thee padron peppers.

Note:: Brush the peppers with olive oil and season with salt. Thread on bamboo skewers and grill over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Recipe Tips

Our thanks to the sponsors of Project Fire Season 4:

Crowd Cow
Kalamazoo Grill Nomad Grill
Start N Grill Workman Publishing

Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2022 Barbacoa, Inc. Photos by Chris Bierlein