Sunday, September 5, 2010

Jamaican Jerk Shrimp with Fresh Pineapple Salsa

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One summer cuisine we really enjoy is Jamaican.  Since summer is coming to an end in the next few weeks, we wanted to get a taste of Jamaica and it's flavorful dishes. Our favorite Jamaican dish? Hands down, it's Jamaican Jerk. This time, I made these Jamaican Jerk Shrimp Skewers and served them up with a Fresh Pineapple Salsa. It's not only delicious and colorful, it also gave us a taste of the islands here in the Midwest...


Jamaican cuisine somewhat a fusion cuisine since it incorporates a lot of culinary influences from Spanish, British, Indian, Africans and Chinese in addition to those that are originally from the island. A popular cooking technique of Jamaica is jerk. Jerk involves marinating meats with a dry a mix of spices or adding liquid for a wet marinade. The main components of Jamaican Jerk spice is allspice and scotch bonnet peppers. Other spices include cloves, cinnamon, scallions, nutmeg, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper.

This recipe is so easy to put together since you may already have the spices lurking in your pantry. You could make this spice mixture and store it to use in other applications as well, including chicken and pork. We really like how the heat of the jerk spice was balanced out with the sweetness of the fresh pineapple salsa. You could even make the same exact recipe and substitute the shrimp with chicken breast and pork.
 

Jamaican Jerk Shrimp
recipe adapted from AllRecipes

1 pound shrimp (your choice of size)
1 tablespoon dried minced onion or 1 stalk finely sliced green onion
1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil


Thread shelled & deveined shrimp onto wooden skewers that have been soaked in water.

In a small bowl, stir together all the jerk spices except the oil. Coat shrimp lightly with oil, then rub seasoning onto shrimp.

Grill over indirect heat until shrimp turns pink and remove from grill. Place on serving platter and tent with foil until ready to serve. Serve with pineapple salsa.


 Fresh Pineapple Salsa
recipe adapted from About.com
2 cups finely chopped fresh pineapple
1/2 medium finely chopped purple onion
2 stalks finely chopped green onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped yellow bell pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped orange bell pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped green bell pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon honey
dash ground cayenne pepper
1 small finely minced jalapeno pepper, optional
juice of 1 fresh lime, about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all salsa ingredients; cover and refrigerate for an hour or more to blend flavors. Serve with Jamaican Jerk Shrimp above. Makes about 1 1/3 cups.

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