I’ve rarely made the same dish twice since I began cooking. Thus my motto: “so much food, so little time!” I truly live by this only because there is always something new to make, or variations to try. It’s just fun for me to cook and eat that way.
My husband really enjoys it, I think, because he grew up with the Monday night meal, the Tuesday night meal, and so forth. Seven meals, exactly the same, every week. Not fun.
There are a few dishes that my kids request when they visit home. One loves my black bean enchiladas, the other loves my salads with salmon, but even these are never the same because I don’t follow recipes. But one thing both of them enjoy and request often during the warm months, is this cilantro garlic shrimp.
In this shrimp appetizer, cilantro adds a wonderful freshness, and pairs so well with fresh garlic. So this shrimp is wonderful in the spring and summer, for any kind of get-together.
Cilantro Garlic Shrimp
Cooked shrimp, tail or no tail, preferably poached
Olive oil, about 1 cup
Fresh garlic, 5-6 cloves if you want a sharp flavor
Fresh cilantro, a whole bunch
Spread out the cooked shrimp on paper towels to dry if necessary, then place in a bowl and keep refrigerated.
To prepare the marinade, pour the olive oil into a blender jar. Add a generous amount garlic cloves, fresh cilantro, stems and all, and a little salt.
Blend until smooth, then pour over the shrimp and toss. Don’t overdo it – you just want the shrimp coated, but not drowning in the marinade. If you have any left over, keep it for chicken. It’s fabulous!
This shrimp can be made the day before, and kept refrigerated, but take it out of the refrigerator at least an hour before serving, so the olive oil doesn’t remain coagulated.
If you like the addition of lemon juice in this cilantro and garlic mixture, do not let the shrimp sit for long. In fact, serve as soon as possible. The lemon juice will cook and mush up the shrimp.
note: You could marinate cleaned, raw shrimp in this cilantro-garlic mixture, and then grill them, but it’s never quite the same. Some liquid always leaks out of the shrimp and they can’t be grilled properly. So that’s why I use pre-cooked shrimp. That way you’ve got perfectly cooked shrimp, coated with the lovely “marinade.”