Step 1: Trim the ends of the sugarcane and cut it into skewers. Rinse the shrimp under cold running water and then drain and blot dry with paper towels. Skewer the shrimp on the sugarcane by making two “leader” holes in the shrimp, one near the head end, one toward the tail. Insert the sugarcane skewers through these holes.
Step 2: Place the brown sugar, butter, rum, hot sauce or mustard, lime juice, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, and salt in a nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the mixture is syrupy, 5 to 8 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as necessary. The recipe can be prepared up to 1 hour ahead to this stage; keep the shrimp in the refrigerator, covered. The glaze can be kept at room temperature.
Step 3: Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Place the shrimp skewers on the hot grate and grill until cooked, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Generously baste each with glaze once before turning and once before removing from the grill. The shrimp will be firm and white when cooked through. Serve any remaining glaze as a sauce on the side. Serve with lime wedges.
Note: Sugarcane swizzle sticks are available at some specialty food stores and from www.melissas.com.
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Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2018 Barbacoa, Inc.