Tequila-Orange Grilled Shrimp

Shrimp isn’t my favorite seafood to eat, but it’s my favorite to buy. And by favorite, I mean least stressful. I know the “rules” about buying shrimp so it’s quick and easy to pick out what I want and move on. Fish is another story entirely. I stand in front of the display mulling over my decision forever, and at the end of the day, I’m still never entirely confident I’ve made the best selection – did I choose something sustainable (I do have the Monterey Bay app on my phone, but sometimes I’m still clueless), is it really fresh? I’m also a total worrywart, which probably doesn’t help this situation any. I need fish shopping lessons. Any takers?? :)

Tequila-Orange Grilled Shrimp

All that said, when I wanted to add seafood to our menu this week, I chose a shrimp dish. This tequila-orange grilled shrimp immediately caught my eye when I was looking for ideas. It was part of Martha Stewart’s “Simple Suppers” series and since a lot of the other meals I had planned for the week were pretty involved, it was ideal. The inclusion of tequila, lime and jalapeno made it perfect for this week leading up to Cinco de Mayo too!

Even with the prep involved, I had this meal on the table in not much more than 30 minutes, and I spent 10 of those trying to squeeze every last drop of juice from my oranges :) The shrimp are quickly marinated in a combination of olive oil, jalapeno, garlic and lime zest, and in the meantime you make a simple sauce of orange juice, tequila, more jalapeno and garlic, and butter. The sauce is reduced until it’s syrupy then poured over the shrimp, which are grilled to perfection in the blink of an eye. I had hoped to cook this shrimp outside because lingering shrimp smell – ewwww – but unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate. That minor annoyance aside, the meal was a big hit. Shane had cleaned his plate by the time I photographed mine, always a sign of a repeat recipe here.

Tequila-Orange Grilled Shrimp
barely adapted from Martha Stewart

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails left on)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 jalapeno, very finely chopped (divided)
2 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
zest of 1 lime
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from about 3 oranges)
1/4 cup tequila
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
lime wedges, for serving

Add the shrimp, olive oil, half of the chopped jalapeno, half of the minced garlic, and the lime zest to a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper then toss to coat evenly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, or up to 1 hour.

In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining jalapeno and garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, orange juice, and tequila. Set the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Continue cooking until the sauce is reduced to a thick, syrupy consistency, about 7-9 minutes. Stir in the butter until completely melted and incorporated. Cover the pan to keep the sauce warm.

Set a grill pan over medium-high to high heat. When it’s hot, cook the shrimp for about 2 minutes per side, or until opaque. Remove the shrimp to a platter and pour the tequila sauce over them. Garnish with chives before serving. Serve with rice and lime wedges.

Tequila-Orange Grilled Shrimp