Growing up in Maryland I only know of one way to eat shrimp and that involves a pot of boiling vinegar and Old Bay seasoning. It's fantastic! The Old Bay flavor is something spicy and unique and this is what makes steamed shrimp such an amazing side dish around here. Some of you may not realize that Old Bay is a mix of spices that includes mustard, paprika, bay leaf, celery seed, black and red pepper, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, mace and salt. That's quite a list!
I've pondered for a while a way to get this same vinegar/Old Bay flavor on the grill. The obvious thing would be to just sprinkle some Old Bay on shrimp and grill it. But that's just not good enough. Check out this method for grilling "MD style" shrimp which involves a quick Old Bay shrimp brine that imparts that classic flavor of MD steamed shrimp.
- 2 T Old Bay Seasoning (plus more for additional seasoning)
- 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- Shrimp (6)
- Ice cubes
- Skewers (wooden, soaked in water for a few minutes)
The normal way that I know how to eat shrimp is to boil them in vinegar with Old Bay. Since I wanted to grill my shrimp this time I chose to treat the vinegar old bay solution as a marinade or brine and then season the shrimp and transfer to the grill. Add 1 cup of vinegar to a bowl and mix in 2 T of Old Bay seasoning. Mix well and add in the shrimp (with the shell still on). Add a few ice cubes and let this sit for about 10-20 minutes while you get your grill ready. You are only limited by space here. Feel free to add in as many shrimp as you can fit. If the shrimp won't fit, double the ingredients in the brine and you'll have a larger volume to work with.
Prepare a medium or medium high heat. When grilling shrimp the general plan is to grill the shrimp over direct heat until the color changes to rich orange. At this time the shrimp is done. This usually takes about 3-5 minutes over medium or medium high heat with one flip. When the grill is ready skewer the shrimp and sprinkle some additional Old Bay seasoning all over each one.
Put the shrimp on the grill grate over the coals and close the dome. After about 5 minutes and one flip, the shrimp should look orange and be completely cooked through.
This is a perfect snack food for watching the Orioles play September and October baseball. What's more Baltimore than Old Bay flavored shrimp? It also doesn't hurt that the shrimp are ORANGE!
John is the author of the grilling blog http://www.grilling24x7.com. Check out more grilling recipes and tailgate tips at http://www.grilling24x7.com and follow John on Twitter at http://twitter.com/grilling24x7.