If you’re not pulling out the grill at some point during Memorial Day weekend, you’re just doing it wrong! The over-done, traditional menu for the cookout includes hot dogs and hamburgers, but we challenge you to take it a step further. When you live in Florida, seafood has to make its way onto your menu. We have a few ideas for what you can include in your cookout that’ll satisfy even the pickiest eater.
Grilled Shrimp Skewers
There are a million different ways to prepare grilled shrimp and honestly, it’s nearly impossible to screw this meal up. Whether you opt for lemon garlic, honey soy or teriyaki, you’re certainly in for a treat. Here are a few basic guidelines for grilling shrimp, regardless of the flavors you choose to incorporate:
-Use the largest shrimp you can find. If you want to develop a nice char on the outside with a perfectly cooked center, teeny tiny shrimp will render useless.
-If you’re using wood skewers, soak them in water for a couple hours before grilling. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of your skewers catching on fire while grilling. Definitely a step you don’t want to skip!
-Peel, season and dry your shrimp before grilling. Moisture is the enemy here, so patting the shrimp completely dry is key.
Traditional Lowcountry Boil
This is the south’s take on a clambake, and we can’t get enough of the simplicity and flavors. Although the basics are pretty straightforward, there are a few variations that can be made to make this dish your own. If you’re the one in charge of serving up this feast to your friends and family, here are a few tips to help make the process go smoothly:
-If fishing’s your thing then hit the water and see what kind of crawfish or shrimp you can catch for the meal. Fresher is always better. Regardless of where you get the seafood, opt for a healthy combination of crawfish, shrimp and crab.
-Don’t just boil the ingredients in water! Add some flare by including a generous amount of pale ale.
-Be liberal with the condiments. You have no clue what your guests like! Put out an array of cocktail sauces, fresh lemons and tartar sauce.
Grilled Mahi Sandwiches
Mahi, salmon, trout…it really doesn’t matter what fish you choose for this yummy summer sandwich. If you’ve never grilled fish before, there are a couple things you should be aware of before lighting the charcoal.
-Keep the skin on while grilling to prevent the fillets from flaking apart. Fish with thinner skin, like trout, develop a crispy, tasty skin from grilling that is definitely worth eating. But fish like salmon, on the other hand, are best served sans skin. Lucky for you, any unwanted skin easily peels off after the cooking process.
-Preheat the grill on high for around 15 minutes and make sure the grates are completely clean. Due to the delicacy of fish, you can’t afford to skip these steps.
-Here’s a great rule of thumb for cook time: The fillet needs to cook for about 10 minutes for each inch of thickness.
-Make sure you point oil on the flesh side of the fish so it doesn’t stick. We’re helping you avoid a cookout disaster here, people.
There ya have it, folks. An easy (and crazy delicious) cookout that might take you a little outside your comfort zone. But we can promise you one thing, once you experience the simplicity and sophistication of grilled seafood, burgers and dogs will be a thing of the past. Happy Memorial Day!