In Charred and Scruffed, you’ll find all of the grilling tips and recipes for cooking every cut of beef as well as pork, chicken, lamb, duck, lobster, fish, shrimp, and game over coals. There are also brines, bastes, finishing salts, and side dishes. We tasted the Tomato Spackle, which is like an extra-thick homemade ketchup, during the cooking class, and there are recipes for an Artichoke Spackle and Hatch Chile Spackle in the book that I want to try too. First, I had to attempt something on the grill from the book. For the shrimp, layers of flavor were developed by starting with a brine. I made the basic brine which included water, salt, sugar, lemons, bay leaves, garlic cloves, thyme leaves, black peppercorns, and red pepper flakes. The brine was brought to a boil to dissolve the sugar, and then it was chilled in the refrigerator. The shrimp were cleaned, the shells were cut down the back so the shrimp could be deveined, but the shells were not removed. The shrimp spent an hour in the chilled brine before being cooked. Meanwhile, the plank was soaked in water. Another layer of flavor was developed by making a basting liquid with olive oil, butter, garlic, onion, oregano, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and lemon. After taking the shrimp out of the brine, they were tossed in the baste before being arranged on the soaked plank. The plank was placed directly on the hot coals in the bottom of the grill, and the water from the plank steamed as soon as the plank hit the coals. The lid of the grill went on, and the shrimp cooked in just a few minutes.
Despite the near-direct heat of the coals, the shrimp were well-protected by the plank and their own shells. They were probably the tenderest grilled shrimp I've ever tasted. And, there was great flavor from the brine and the baste along with the smokiness from the grill. I’ll be happy to coach Kurt when he feels like grilling red meat, and when I want to grill fish and fowl, I’ll be grabbing this book for tips.
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