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Recipe: grilled tequila lime shrimp

The mountains are calling and so we must answer. Will tell them you said hello. According to several reports, it should be outstanding. I love taking road trips with Jeremy. Still have to pack my gear…

this time last year

Kaweah is going to Camp Crazy where the staff give her extra pats and belly rubs. They let her sprawl out in the kiddie pool in summer and curl up on the warm, fresh laundry in winter. Plus she gets to play with all of the other pups. It’s less stressful for all involved.

So while I need to finish some final prep, I thought I’d toss out a recipe that we tried last night for dinner. I’ve been in the mode of using up ingredients I have on hand – basically cleaning out the freezer, the pantry, and now, the booze cabinets. Don’t be fooled, we’re not heavy boozers. The cabinets I keep my booze in (mostly for desserts) are small, hence cabinets instead of cabinet.

where is this going… lime, shrimp, tequila, garlic, olive oil, spices

I have a nearly full bottle of tequila because we offered margaritas at a party a while back. We also offered gin and tonics. Everyone wanted a g&t. The plan was to make some manner of grilled shrimp with a lime juice marinade, but then I found recipes that called for tequila and lime juice. I quite love booze in my food.

mix it all in a ziploc bag

The recipe comes together quickly with little fuss. I love that kind of recipe, especially when the weather is hot because it reduces the chances of me blowing a gasket. All of the recipes I read said to marinate anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours, shell on. I usually go for the longer marinating time.

skewer the buggers

Before anyone asks if the shrimp is already cooked, it is NOT. It is wild caught pink shrimp from the Gulf from the Whole Foods Seafood department in Boulder. It is pink when raw. It is pink when cooked. You may use any raw shrimp you please. Just don’t overcook it and turn it to rubber, because that is punishable by law.

a few minutes on the grill

Jeremy grilled these babies to juicy, tender perfection. (Overcooked seafood is something I will sit down and cry over.) We liked the shrimp, but we both agreed that the flavor was just a little subtle for our tastes. Not sure if a longer marinate would fix that, but I think keeping them in the shell is important to avoid drying the shrimp out during grilling. I just wanted more lime and perhaps a little more kick from the tequila, although the cumin was just the right degree of zip. Would love to know other people’s experiences with marinating and grilling shrimpies. It’s a good reason to experiment some more and use up that tequila.

…and i am outta here!

Grilled Tequila Lime Shrimp
[print recipe]
based on several online recipes – try this one at Culinary Cafe

1 lb. raw shrimp, shell on
1/4 cup tequila
1/4 cup lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a ziploc bag and marinate for 30 minutes to 4 hours. Skewer the shrimp and grill on high heat for a few minutes each side until done. Serve hot.

36 nibbles at “kayseeyabye!”

  1. Bridget says:

    I’ve not generally a big marinater myself, but one trick I’ve heard of doing is to set some of the marinade mixture aside (before it’s mixed with raw meat) and then brush it on the meat while it’s cooking and after it’s cooked.

    Have fun on your trip!

  2. Manggy says:

    Have a great trip Jen!
    I think our shrimp are blessed to have so much flavor packed into them. I’ve had precooked shrimp and it was a sad affair. I think having the head on during cooking makes a world of difference, as does cooking with fat.
    I too have a bottle of tequila courtesy of my brother– he doesn’t eat shellfish though :/

  3. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary says:

    We marinate and grill shrimp all the time. Luckily I live in the Ocean State so shrimp is pretty cheap here. One quick and super easy marinade that we use when time’s an issue is Sweet Chili Sauce. We just bag up the shrimp, through some chili sauce in and let it sit a couple of hours. It really gives the shrimp a nice tangy taste.

  4. rose says:

    YUM! I’m a big fan of shrimp marinated and grilled :) Enjoy your trip! Your photographs are gorgeous!

  5. Woman with a Whisk says:

    The pink of the shrimp in that last picture is fantastic! It looks perfect. I’m not a much of a tequila drinker, but this sounds fantastic. Whenever I grill shrimp or pork, I do what Bridget suggested above and reserve a bit of the marinade (pre-raw meat) to use as a glaze.

  6. Sweet Kitchen says:

    The shrimp are such a lovely delicate pink- I’ve never seen those before! Kudos on the grilling as they look perfectly done.

  7. la petite chef says:

    YUM! I like the sound of this!! Thanks for the recipe! Great site! :)

  8. Chiot's Run says:

    Looks tasty!

  9. Erin says:

    I’m a big fan of marinades. It’s such a great way to get flavor for grilling. We use our grill all the time, but almost never on shrimp. I’ll have to experiment with it more. This version looks delicious!

  10. Kitt says:

    Yum. Reserving the marinade for basting sounds like a solution. Leaving seafood in a citrus marinade too long would result in ceviche, I would think.

    Have a fun trip!

  11. TheKitchenWitch says:

    These look delish! Thanks for the tip on the marinade–I’ll add some BAM! to it when I make it.

  12. Rosa says:

    A gorgeous summer dish! That recipe is very enticing!



  13. Melissa says:

    Have a fun time Jen. See you soon!

  14. Melissa says:

    Oops! The shrimp! I had nothing to offer as I have not grilled shrimp, like, ever. :P

  15. Phoo-D says:

    This is my exact go to summer week night dinner recipe, right down to the cumin! Sometimes if I’m feeling spicy I’ll finely mince a jalepeno and throw it in too. It is so simple and delicious. Plus with a ziplock to marinade clean up is a snap. Have a wonderful time exploring!

  16. Kristin says:

    Yep, as others have said…set aside some marinade to drizzle or brush on after cooking. Our favorite has basil, lemon juice & zest, Parmesan, olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper, but we do it shelled. It’s great hot off the grill or cold in a Caesar salad. Oh oh! And this one: garlic, olive oil, tomato sauce (weird, but good), basil, red wine vinegar, a little bit of cayenne.

    Happy travels. I look forward to the photos & stories.

  17. Juliana says:

    Nice shrimp…great for the summer BBQ. Will definitely try it! Yummie…and nice pictures!

  18. Fiona says:

    Those look great, and I’ve been itching to try the pink shrimpies at WF. I only buy wild-caught because I grew up in Charleston, where Actual People fish for shrimp. They rely on our purchases to stay in business, so…

    Also, I don’t fancy antibiotics with my yumyum.

  19. Lori says:

    We usually cook our shrimp in the shell. It does seem to help retain moisture and flaor I think also. I so agree, overcooked seafood is punishable by law. Goodness!

    I am a big margarita fan but I think I could definitely part with some to give this recipe a go.

    kaybyeseeyah! Enjoy!

  20. Caitlin says:

    Oh so jealous, since I have another week before I can take off to go hiking around boulder (Thunder Lake, specifically) and then to a wedding. And due to my apartment dwelling, I can’t grill; I don’t think we ever grilled shrimp growing up either, so I got nothing. Not to mention my immediate gag reflex when smelling tequila. Now G&Ts, those I can totally go for.

  21. Cate says:

    I love booze in my food too… in fact I would rather marinate with tequila than drink it any day (unless it’s in the perfect margarita).
    Have a great trip!

  22. Margie says:

    Yum City! :)

    Enjoy a wonderful vaca.

  23. charlane says:

    I do a version of this and love it because it allows really great, wild caught taste to come through

  24. Pearl says:

    grilling is so fun!

  25. Mrs Ergül says:

    These shrimps are so pretty in pink! I too should start clearing my freezer and cabinets! When my hubby’s old friend was in town and stayed over at our place, he exclaimed when he saw the loot I have in my cabinets haha

    I got my grand marnier from duty free when i got back from HK! yay!

  26. Tartelette says:

    This is just perfect for the summer! You hit it again!!
    Have a wonderful time on this shoot!

  27. Valérie says:

    It looks delicious! I can’t say I’ve ever tried grilling shrimp myself, for lack of owning a barbecue… :-( But I agree: overcooked seafood is a sad, sad thing indeed.

    Enjoy the mountains!

  28. Katerina says:

    This looks amazing. I am always unsure how long to marinate shrimp for. Our local shrimp is also pink when raw and pinked when cook. Delicious.

  29. Nicisme says:

    Looks wonderful! Hope you have a great trip.

  30. Aran says:

    oh i’m so jealous… nothing like CO in the summer… and the recipe sounds fantastic! enjoy!

  31. Simone (junglefrog) says:

    I never even knew that pink raw shrimp existed… :) They look delicious. I also think that during warm weather you want to make quick and simple dishes and grilling is always a perfect summer thing to do. I am not a very good marinater (is that even a word??) so I cannot help you on the flavour part!

  32. Lynn @ human, being says:

    Jen, seriously, I have to stop looking at your blog until I fit into my wedding dress because it makes me HUNGRY.

    This looks like a beautiful dinner. Yum!

  33. LilSis says:

    Beautiful shrimp! I grilling shrimp and always do it in the shell. It might help to marinade just a little longer, but how about adding a little cayenne pepper or chopped roasted Serrano pepper to the marinade?

  34. LilSis says:

    Oops. Sorry for the typo. I hate typos in my comments. I meant to say that I LOVE grilling shrimp and always do it in the shell.

  35. jenyu says:

    Bridget – huh, good to know. Thanks for the tip!

    Mark – I agree, leaving the head makes it very sweet and full of good fresh flavor. What a shame – your bro doesn’t eat seafood but you live on an ISLAND ;)

    Lisa – thanks!

    Rose – thank you :)

    Woman w/ Whisk – ha ha, I was trying to use up my tequila without drinking it ;) I’ll try to use it as a glaze (I’m not too worried about raw shrimp in marinade – I eat raw shrimp sushi…)

    Sweet Kitchen – thanks!

    La Petite Chef – thank you.

    Chiot’s Run – :)

    Erin – I love shrimp, they’re just such lovely little morsels of shrimpy goodness.

    Kitt – yup, I was worried about overmarinating :(

    TKW – for you my dear, you might need to swig a few from the bottle while preparing the dish ;)

    Rosa – thanks

    Melissa – thank you!

    Phoo-D – I like the addition of spicy!

    Kristin – mmm, sounds great. Thanks for the recs!

    Juliana – :)

    Fiona – I’m with you on that!

    Lori – thanks!

    Caitlin – just drink a couple of G&Ts before mixing the marinade ;)

    Cate – I feel the same!

    Margie – :)

    Charlane – yes, it does and it’s great :)

    Pearl – agreed!

    Mrs. E – ha ha, lucky you!

    Tartelette – thanks, love.

    Valerie – indeed. We should form a club against overcooked seafood :)

    Katerina – mmm, that means you get great local shrimp *sigh*

    Nicisme – thank you.

    Aran – thanks!

    Simone – Yes, grilling and shrimp are both super fast and easy – perfect for summer!

    Lynn – oh, but the shrimp won’t make you fat!! :) You’ll look gorgeous in your dress no matter what.

    LilSis – yup, I am just worried to marinate for too long as the lime starts to cook the shrimp.

  36. Straw says:

    Just wanted to let you know that we tried this and my husband RAVED about them. Part of what drew me to this was him saying that it is better to buy the shrimp with the shells intact. So y’all were already preaching to the choir, so to speak.

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