Mac’s Planked Shrimp stuffed with Cilantro & Chiles
Shrimp cooked in-shell offer greater, more intense, flavor. Leaving the shell on also provides a buffer against overcooking (a misfortune too many shrimp suffer). Shrimp (even these jumbos) continue to cook once removed from the grill; so, it’s always best to cook until just opaque then let the delicate shellfish finish cooking off the grill. These shrimp can be enjoyed via a knife and fork unless you’re outside, it’s summer, and you are feeling very relaxed. Serve these with lots of napkins if your crowd is of the peel-and-eat persuasion.
- 8 jumbo shrimp, in the shell (about 1 1/4 lbs.)
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
- Juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup)
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. kosher salt (plus additional salt for seasoning)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/2 large jalapeno, seeded
- 2 scallions (white and green parts)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- Choice of Plank (Cedar, Alder, Maple)
- Fridge or Ice Chest
- Food Processor or Blender
- Soak your plank for at least an hour prior to use.
- Prepare the BGE for direct cooking at a medium-high temp of 350 to 400 degrees. Place the plank on the grate a few minutes before you cook to begin smoking process.
- Without removing the shells, slit about 3/4 of the way through the shrimp down the ridged back and remove the vein that runs down the center.
- Rinse and pat the shrimp dry.
- Whisk thyme, lime juice, 1 tsp. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, & pepper (to taste) in a shallow non-reactive bowl or dish.
- Lay the shrimp in the lime mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- In a food processor or blender, pulse the garlic, jalapeno, scallions, 1 tsp. olive oil and 1/2 tsp. salt to make a coarse paste.
- Add cilantro and pulse just enough to incorporate.
- Spoon the mixture into the opening in the shrimp and close the Shrimp.
- Arrange the shrimp on the plank shell side down and cook for 3 minutes.
- Rotate shrimp to other side and cook another 2 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and slightly firm.
- Sprinkle with additional salt & serve.