Dinner for One…or a Crowd
Simplicity. That’s what we often need in the middle of the week. Between work, activities and commitments, it can be so tempting to pull out a frozen pizza and pop it into the oven. Today was one of those days, but I resisted.
Summer brings an abundance of fresh herbs like basil. It is so plentiful at this time of year, and the crisp aroma reminds me that simple meals with flavorful ingredients don’t require a lot of pomp and circumstance.
One of the oldie but goodies I like to prepare as a side dish when we entertain is Grilled Shrimp Packets. Dot some shrimp with herbed compound butter in a foil packet, throw it on a grill, and in about ten minutes, you have an instant crowd pleaser. It works so well as a side or an appetizer, but tonight, I decided to make it the main course. All I needed was a good hunk of good, crusty bread, and it was the ideal midweek meal.
You can, of course, customize compound butter in so many different ways. Tonight I was craving Thai flavors, so I made a Basil, Garlic and Red Curry Compound Butter. The shrimp soaked up the rich flavors as it steamed in its foil packet, emitting juices just right for bread dipping. And for some extra kick, I couldn’t resist spiking each bite with a dot of Sriracha Sauce.
Who needs pizza?
Grilled Shrimp Packets with Basil, Garlic and Red Curry Compound Butter
makes 2 packets
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 -5 basil leaves, depending on size
- 1 tablespoon of cilantro
- 4 tablespoons of butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons red curry paste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (tail left on if desired)
- fresh basil leaves, chiffonade for garnish
- Sriracha Sauce for serving, optional
In a mini food processor, mince garlic, basil and cilantro. Add butter, red curry paste, salt and pepper and process till combined.
On two pieces of heavy duty foil, divide shrimp and lay in a row. Dot with desired amount of compound butter (you can control the fat here). Seal tightly and place on a hot grill. Allow it to cook for about 10 minutes; you will notice the packets puff up when it is done.
Serve the shrimp straight out of the packets if you wish! Or plate it with chiffonades of basil and Sriracha sauce. Don’t forget the bread!