It seems that spring has finally sprung, as evidenced by the fact that I’m sitting on the patio typing this at eight in the morning, and it is actually warmer out here than in our icebox of a house. After a few weeks of stormy weather, gray days and some very chilly temperatures, we’re hitting high seventies this week. (I know I’m not getting a whole lot of sympathy from anyone outside of California.)
To me, spring means flip-flops and dresses, fruit, sunshine, barbecue smoke, picnics, frozen drinks, open windows, long days, colorful blooms, sunscreen, mid-day naps, and peaceful morning walks. All good things…
When we hit this time of year, you rarely find us inside. Weekends are spent sitting outside, soaking up the sun, avoiding chores and errands, and most likely barbecuing. We’ve even hauled the ridiculously huge air mattress out on the patio and slept out here once or twice. I’m sure the neighbors, who could easily witness this scene by looking down from their second story windows, would much rather it be storming and thereby not allowing the obnoxiously giggly neighbors to do crap like this. (What they don’t know is that we’re just as obnoxious inside, and during the winter months we’ve been known to clear out our dining room and set up our tent in front of the fireplace for an indoor campout.)
So on one of the first days when it was warm enough to barbecue without putting on our snowsuits, we fired up the grill for these springtime inspired shrimp skewers and sat outside to enjoy a glass of wine and the perfect evening.
Skewers of Shrimp, Grapefruit and Avocado
12 large shrimp, peeled, tail-on
1 grapefruit, cut into supremes, tossed in canola oil
1 avocado, cut into large chunks
bamboo skewers, soaked in water
For the marinade:
1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 jalapeno, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1 teaspoon white miso
2 teaspoons honey
Whisk all marinade ingredients together and add shrimp. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
When ready to grill, thread shrimp, avocado and grapefruit onto the skewers. (Make sure the grapefruit segments are skewered lengthwise.) Grill over medium heat for several minutes per side, until shrimp are cooked through.
Note: The grapefruit will stick to the grill if it isn’t oiled sufficiently. Even then, very carefully turn the skewers so as not to lose the grapefruit. (We did have a few causalities fall through the grill.)
Going in, I was a little skeptical about this dish. I wasn’t sure about the flavor combinations, and I wasn’t sure how the grilling would change the texture of the avocado and grapefruit. Turns out the flavors mesh really well together and the grilled avocado was one of my favorite parts of this meal (Andy’s was the grapefruit). The grapefruit is definitely a bit of a hassle to grill, but all in all, this light and fresh dish surpassed my expectations. The tart citrus flavor and the creamy, smoky avocado screamed spring to me, which is exactly what I wanted for our first dinner alfresco of the year.
In other exciting news, I had my first article published as part of the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Check it out here: Be an Iron Chef at Home: Host a Cook-off!