My Royal Red shrimp craze began one summer afternoon in Seaside, when my sandy hands tasted a steamed Royal Red shrimp. The introduction was heaven on Earth--I still recall its sweet, lobster-like consistency and the hot butter melting off the tail.
I recently grilled some Royal Reds for a dinner party, and the finished product was perfection. A spicy herb chimichurri doted each bowl of garlic-infused red quinoa and blistered zucchini. And, of course, a nice bottle of red wine rounded out the "red" theme.
Note: You'll have extra chimichurri (makes about 2 cups), so reserve for a future flank steak on the grill! The sauce lasts 1 week in an airtight refrigerated container.
Makes 4 servings
1 pound Royal red gulf shrimp, washed, shells on
1 cup uncooked red quinoa
2 small zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch discs
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1. Combine vinegar, 1 tsp. salt, garlic, shallot, and chile in a medium bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro and parsley. Using a fork, whisk in 3/4 cup olive oil. Cover and chill.
2. In a medium pot, simmer red quinoa in 2 cups of water until most of water is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Turn off heat.
3. Season Royal Reds with salt and pepper. Drizzles with olive oil and brush evenly over shrimp. Heat a large dry skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp, one handful at a time, and allow to cook untouched for 2 minutes. Flip (ensure blackened marks show), and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and continue with remaining batches. Set shrimp aside momentarily.
3. Reuse the large skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive, and turn heat to medium-high. Add zucchini and cook, untouched, for 3 minutes. Flip and continue to cook.
4. Serve bowls of red quinoa, topped with Royal Reds and zucchini. Spoon chimichurri atop shrimp.