When it comes to cooking summer meals the keywords are fast, easy and delicious. Shrimp is ideal because it has all three characteristics that make a great summer meal.

Grilled shrimp is full of flavor. It can be threaded onto skewers, wrapped in foil or placed directly on the grill. Shrimp can be marinated or sprinkled with olive oil and a few seasonings.

The only tricky thing about grilling shrimp is that it cooks quickly; it only takes 2 to 4 minutes per side to cook shrimp.

Raw shrimp should be shiny, translucent and have a slightly gray color. When shrimp is cooked it is pink and curls into a “c” shape. While overcooked shrimp is still edible, it will have a rubbery texture. So it is important to stay close to the grill and pay attention to shrimp while it’s cooking.

The easiest way to keep shrimp on hand is to buy frozen shrimp. Frozen shrimp comes in packages where it is already peeled and deveined, which is a real time saver.

Thaw shrimp just before you need it. It can be thawed by placing it in the refrigerator overnight. Or for faster thawing, place the shrimp in a bowl of cold water. Every five minutes, dump the water out and replace it with fresh cold water. In about 15 to 20 minutes the shrimp will be thawed and ready to use.

Fun facts about shrimp:

  • A shrimp’s heart is located in his head.

  • A shrimp’s life cycle is approximately one year.

  • Shrimp is the most popular seafood in the U.S.

  • Shrimp swim backward.

  • Ounce for ounce, shrimp has fewer calories than chicken, beef or pork. Shrimp is low in calories, but high in protein.

  • The average shrimp has 10 legs.

  • Shrimp contain selenium, a cancer-fighting mineral.

So fire up the grill and put the shrimp on! Dinner will be ready in less than 10 minutes. Happy Fourth of July and Happy Eating!

Easy Grilled Honey Shrimp with Pineapple

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup melted butter or margarine
  • Pineapple (fresh or canned, cut into 1-inch chunks)
  • Skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak in water for about 15 minutes before putting shrimp onto the skewers)
  • Vegetable or canola oil

Mix together the garlic powder, black powder, Worcestershire sauce and white wine. Add the shrimp and toss so all are well coated. Place in the refrigerator and let marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.

While shrimp is marinating, mix together the honey and melted butter. Set aside.

Preheat grill to high heat. Remove shrimp from the marinade and discard any remaining marinade. Thread the shrimp and pineapple onto the skewers alternating between the two.

Pour a tablespoon or two of oil onto a paper towel. Run over the grates of the grill.

Place skewers on the grill. Lightly baste the shrimp/pineapple with the honey-butter mixture. Cook 3 minutes, turn over, baste the second side with butter/honey and cook three minutes on the other side. Remove from grill and serve immediately.

Sausage and Grilled Shrimp Kabobs

  • 1 1/2 pounds of shelled and deveined shrimp
  • ½ to 1 pound of smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons barbeque sauce (mild or spicy if you want some heat)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped or dried parsley
  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • Skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak in water for 15 to 30 minutes before using)

In a medium sized bowl combine seasonings, olive oil and barbeque sauce. Add the shrimp and sausage and lightly toss.

Heat the grill to medium heat. Pour a tablespoon or so of vegetable or canola oil on a paper towel and wipe the grill grate.

Place the sausage pieces into the “c” curve of the shrimp. Thread the sausage/shrimp onto the skewers.

Place on the grill. Grill 3 minutes and turn over. Grill an additional three to four minutes. Shrimp should be opaque and cooked through. Remove from grill and serve immediately.