Cilantro Lime Shrimp Kebabs with Garlic Butter
Food and Drink

Courtesy of Russ Faulk, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet; photo credit: Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Kebabs with Garlic Butter

"Bacon and tequila add layers of unexpected and delightful flavor to this shrimp."

Serves: 4 (2 skewers each)


For the Cilantro Lime Marinade:

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

½ cup blanco (silver) tequila

¼ cup freshly-squeezed lime juice

¾ cup coarsely chopped cilantro

4 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper


For the Kebabs:

16 large shrimp (about 1 pound), peeled, deveined and partially butterflied with tails removed

8 slices of bacon, cut in half

4 large jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, cut into 1 by 1/2-inch rectangles

8 10-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water


For the Garlic Butter:

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

4 cloves garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon fine grey sea salt

For the marinade: process the ingredients in a food processor until the cilantro and garlic are very fine. Transfer to a medium-sized non-reactive bowl and add the shrimp. Gently toss to coat the shrimp evenly, cover tightly, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Prepare the grill with two cooking zones: a medium-hot zone with a cast iron griddle, a steel plancha, or Kalamazoo Hibachi surface; and a hot zone with a regular grill grate (or a Kalamazoo meat-pattern laser-cut cooking surface). This allows the bacon side of the skewers to cook fully without overcooking the shrimp, and the shrimp side to cook over the open flame.

To assemble the kebabs: use pairs of skewers on each kabob to keep the ingredients from rotating on the skewer. Start a pair of skewers through one end of a slice of bacon. Slide a shrimp on so it lays on top of the bacon, passing the skewers through the top of the curled shrimp and out through the tail. This leaves the bacon exposed on only one side of each shrimp. Add a piece of jalapeno against the tail, matching the curve. Then pull the end of the bacon tight against the shrimp and jalapeno, and pass it through the skewers. Trim off any excess bacon. Repeat this process to make 4 kebabs with 4 shrimp each. Reserve the marinade.

Combine the garlic butter ingredients in a small saucepan and place on the edge of the grill or cooktop to melt the butter.

Place the kebabs, with the bacon side down, onto the hibachi surface, plancha or griddle over medium heat. Baste each kebab with a generous amount of the reserved marinade. Dispose of the remaining marinade. Cook the kebabs until the bacon is fully-browned on the bottom, about 8 minutes. Move the kebabs to the open grill grate over high heat flipping them over so the shrimp sides face down. Continue cooking until the deepest part of the slit in the back of the shrimp turns opaque, about 5 minutes.

Serve the finished kebabs with the garlic butter on the side.