Grill Week: Grilled Shrimp Salad

Grill Week: Grilled Shrimp Salad

Esme used to say that she wanted to be a chef or a doc­tor. And Ben and I would always tell her that those were skill sets we’d be happy to inte­grate into the fam­ily. But lately she’s change her mind. The last few times we’ve talked about her career goals she’s told me she wants to be a Mummy. And yes, the first few times she said it I actu­ally teared up. I’m not a cryer, but how sweet is that? Nat­u­rally my ego jumped straight to the con­clu­sion that it’s her four year old way of telling me that she admires me. That she notices what I do and appre­ci­ates it and thinks moth­er­hood is an impor­tant job. Right? Yeah, not so much, as it turns out.

On our way to school recently she was ask­ing me about her other recent obses­sion: judges. What do judges do? How do they decide who goes to jail? How bad do you have to be to go to jail? She lis­tened thought­fully to my answers and said, “I don’t want to be a judge. That sounds really hard.” I agreed that being a judge would be an enor­mous respon­si­bil­ity and it wouldn’t appeal to me as a job either. Again she told me she’d rather be a Mom. I reminded her that being a mother is also a hard job. She turned to  and said, “Yeah, but like, being a judge is this hard.” Arms spread wide for empha­sis “And being a Mummy is like this.” Hands held very close together. Very close. So it’s not so much that she wants to be a mother to be like me but because she thinks it’s easy! I don’t mind telling you I got a bit huffy.

Mov­ing on.

We had Laura and Scar­lett over for din­ner the other evening and I wanted some­thing, yep, you guessed — easy. I knew I had a busy day and I didn’t want to be fuss­ing around with some­thing com­pli­cated. I like grilling but I’m not a fan of eat­ing a ton of red meat, so I like meals like this that are grill alter­na­tives to a big steak. Once you’ve cleaned your shrimp, which is the only fussy thing here, this salad comes together quickly. I split a shrimp with Esme when they came off the grill — just to test the sea­son­ing. Also we couldn’t resist, they looked so good. As soon as put in my mouth, I couldn’t help but exclaim, “Oh. My. God. So good.” Esme popped her half in her mouth and shouted, “Oh. My. God. So good.” Okay, so maybe she copies me just a lit­tle some­times. And she’s no longer grounded.

Mari­nade & Shrimp

1 pound large shrimp (frozen is fine, just let them thaw before start­ing)
1 Tbsp veg­etable oil
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 cloves of gar­lic minced
cou­ple of grinds of black pep­per
4 or 5 wooden skewers


2 or 3 cobs of corn
1 x 19 ounce can black beans, rinsed
1 red, yel­low or orange pep­per, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, washed and chopped
1 avo­cado, diced
4 Tbsp veg­etable oil
3 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp pep­per
1 head Boston let­tuce, washed, spun and chopped


Peel shrimp entirely. I don’t under­stand leav­ing the tails on for peo­ple to have to pluck off at the table. Some peo­ple pre­fer to grill shrimp in their shells but I didn’t fancy peel­ing hot shrimp! Run a small, sharp knife length­wise down the top of the shrimp. You only need to make a very shal­low cut. In larger shrimp there will be a dark vein that will eas­ily come out with your knife. It’s actu­ally part of the shrimp’s diges­tive tract. So yes, it’s another crea­ture whose poop you’re hav­ing to con­cern your­self with. Sorry. Once you’re done, rinse all the shrimp under cold water just to be sure it’s all gone.

Mix together the other mari­nade ingre­di­ents in a shal­low bowl. Add shrimp and gen­tly stir. Cover and pop in the fridge for about an hour.

Place wooden skew­ers in a shal­low dish, cov­ered in water. Allow them to soak for at least 20 to 30 min­utes before putting them on the barbecue.

Fire up your grill and get it good and hot! Husk the corn and put it on a lightly oiled grill for 15 to 20 min­utes, turn­ing every 5 min­utes or so. They’ll just begin to char. Remove from heat and allow them to cool a bit before run­ning a knife down the corn to slice off the kernels.

Put corn, beans, chopped pep­pers and corian­der in a bowl. Mix together. Gen­tly fold in your avo­cado dice — easy does it, you’re not mak­ing gua­camole here!

Whisk together oil, lime juice, salt, cumin and pep­per. Taste and adjust to your family’s taste. Pour over the bean mix­ture — you may not need it all — and toss.

Take your shrimp out f the fridge and put about three on each skewer. Go through the tail and again through the top so they can be flat on the grill. Put them on the bar­be­cue for about six min­utes. They’ll turn bright coral pink. Use tongs to take them off the heat. Allow them to cool slightly before slid­ing them off the skewers.

On a serv­ing plate, arrange the chopped let­tuce and pile the beans on top. Arrange your grilled shrimp on top. You could sprin­kle just a bit more dress­ing over top if you wanted.

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