A year ago, on October 12, 2017 to be exact, I was excitingly telling you about my qualification for the World Food Championships. That day, I shared the recipe for my qualifier dish with you: djondjon polenta bites. If you’re new to the blog, you will find out more about the contest including a recipe for those bites that I topped with grilled shrimp by clicking here.
I am just now realizing that I never followed up on that amazing experience.
I did make it to Orange Beach, Alabama last year. It was the most amazing and fun experience I could ever imagine having in a kitchen. Yet, I failed to share the sandwiches I created for the competition, and actually prepared in front of a live audience, with you.
So today, I am making amends.
I will start by sharing the recipe for my rum infused grilled shrimp, key ingredient for the first required sandwich: a shrimp po’boy. If you’re unfamiliar with that New Orleans sandwich, you will find a great definition for it here. That website tells the po’boy story better than I ever could.
Now, I know you’re wondering why I don’t just get it over with, and share the entire sandwich with you.
You know what? You’re right. I could do just that. And I eventually will. It simply won’t be today.
I’d rather share some of the components of that sandwich separately, and put it all together in a later entry.
My reason? This spicy grilled shrimp recipe doesn’t just pair well with a sandwich. You could serve those shrimps with pretty much anything. They are great as a standalone dish.
Those shrimps tasted better than I had anticipated. I must say that, since I wasn’t going to let them marinate for a long time, I was unsure of the turnout. If you read my Haitian cooking, a labor of love article, you will understand that long marinating processes are ingrained in our local cooking culture.
Yet, the combination of fresh garlic, fresh thyme, piment bouc, salt, pepper, lime zest and rum worked perfectly. I think grilling the shrimp on a cast iron grill played a great role in that success. I chose a cast iron because it grills to perfection in just a few minutes.
My shrimp was infused with bold flavors that did not hide their sweet fresh taste, what we call “gou lanmè” in Haïti.
With that said, why confine those perfect shrimps to a sandwich? That’s what would happen if I shared all the layers in one blog post. They would get buried under a sandwich, and you would forget about the possibility of serving them differently.
Plus, once you master the shrimp, you will realize that that sandwich and its many layers – a total of four or five – is a breeze to prepare.
So consider this your baby steps into a sandwich-making course. You have to master each component for your sandwich to be a success. 😉
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Grilled garlic shrimp with a splash of rum
- 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tail on
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 4 mashed garlic cloves
- 1 lime zest
- 1/2 piment bouc
- 1 or 2 tbsp dark rum
- cast iron grill
- Season the shrimp with the salt, thyme, pepper, garlic, lime zest, piment bouc and rum
- Let marinate for about five minutes
- Grill on a cast iron