Shrimp on the barbie? Don’t forget the wine!

Shrimp and scallops

  The summer may be officially over, but here in Florida we still have plenty of opportunities (and gorgeous weather) to bask in the sunshine and enjoy good food, good wine, and good company. So what are you doing this weekend? Why not plan a Summer Ain’t Over Yet Barbecue? And when I think of grilling, I think of – yes – Shrimp On The Barbie.

    Grilling shrimp is, of course, done everywhere. But the phrase “Shrimp On The Barbie” originated on a 1984 TV commercial for the Australian Tourism Commission which featured a then little known Paul Hogan.

    There is no single recipe for Shrimp On The Barbie. Sometimes it is quite literally that, with no marinades, no sauces, and no fixings. On the other hand, personal preference and creativity is encouraged. So here’s the recipe I use (and yes I know I also take the liberty of throwing in sea scallops too, but I can be like that sometimes) –

Ingredients:

    12 large or jumbo shrimp

    12 sea scallops

    12 white mushrooms, stems removed

    2 large lemons

    ½ cup olive oil

    ½ cup dry white wine

    1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, plus sprigs of thyme to garnish

    ¾ teaspoon sea salt

    ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

    In a bowl whisk together the olive oil, wine, chopped thyme, salt and pepper. Add the shrimp, scallops, and slices of lemon. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes, tossing occasionally during this time.

    Add mushrooms and toss to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes.

    Thread the shrimp, lemon slices, mushrooms, and scallops onto skewers. (Remember – if you’re using wooden skewers to soak them in water first so they won’t burn so quickly on the grill.) Boil the remaining marinade.

    Arrange the skewers on the grill, turning frequently, and brushing regularly with the marinade, for 8 – 10 minutes.

    Serve on a warmed platter atop polenta and garnish with thyme sprigs.

    Some grilled fresh pineapple on the side is also recommended.

    The next thing to think about with Shrimp On The Barbie is – what to drink with it? For me that usually means wine, and in keeping in line with our Australian theme, let me mention a few excellent Australian quaffing wines that you might want to try.

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How about something cool, fresh and zesty, with flavors of passionfruit, citrus, and tropical fruits and a refreshing natural acidity, like Yalumba Y Sauvignon Blanc 2009? This delicious wine comes from Australia’s oldest family owned winery, and is available at $12.99.

    Don’t forget – as many people unfortunately do – that Riesling pairs beautifully with seafood. How about Yalumba Y Riesling at $11.99? The Yalumba is a dry Riesling, making it a perfect match.

    Need a good quality party red for your barbecue? Try Baritone 2008, a tempting blend of 68% Shiraz and 32% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a full-bodied slightly spicy wine with assertive blackcurrant, plum, and sweet mulberry fruit aromas, and a hint of mint and licorice. It’s a wine so big it comes in a liter-sized bottle (more for your friends and yourself!) and sells for $14.49.

    Oh, and by the way, did you know that they never use the phrase “Shrimp On The Barbie” in Australia? That commercial was made for the American market. In Australia, shrimp are called prawns, so technically it would be “Prawns (or better still King Prawns) On The Barbie”.

    Enjoy!

Bill Stobbs, ABC Wine Supervisor, Tampa Bay Area

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