Caprese Skewer Recipe
Caprese Skewer Recipe
Caprese salad is a great appetizer if you use toothpicks to stand bite-size portions upright on a halved grape tomato base. Make a garlic-infused oil, (mincie garlic into a paste and stirring it into fruity extra-virgin olive oil,) boosts the flavors of the baby mozzarella balls and tomatoes, as did a bit of salt and pepper. Thread whole basil leaves to complete the Caprese flavor profile. You will need about 30 sturdy wooden toothpicks for this recipe; avoid using very thin, flimsy toothpicks here. A halved grape tomato, with its flat side facing _down, serves as a pedestal and keeps the skewers standing upright on a serving platter. You can use larger fresh mozzarella balls here, but they should be cut into ¾- to 1-inch pieces before marinating.
Mince garlic into paste. Combine garlic paste and oil in small bowl. Halve tomatoes. Toss tomatoes, mozzarella, and 2 tablespoons garlic oil together in bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Thread tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil leaves onto toothpicks in following order from top to bottom: tomato half, basil leaf, mozzarella ball, and tomato half with flat side facing out. Using halved tomato as base, stand skewers upright on platter. Just before serving, drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons garlic oil over skewers, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
HOW TO TURN MINCED GARLIC INTO A PASTE
Sprinkle minced garlic with pinch of salt, then drag broad side of knife across it a few times, mashing garlic and salt into cutting board as you go.
BABY MOZZARELLA BALLS
These small mozzarella balls, also sold as Ciliegini, are about the size of a cherry tomato, but they deliver the same clean, milky flavor and tender texture as regular-size fresh mozzarella balls. They are generally packaged in water or whey, although sometimes they come in a marinade of olive oil, garlic, and other herbs or spices. For this recipe, we prefer the Ciliegini packed in water or whey. You can find this cheese with the other fresh cheeses in your supermarket’s dairy aisle.
TO MAKE AHEAD
Skewers can be assembled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 6 hours; bring to room temperature before drizzling remaining garlic oil over skewers and serving.
SERVES 8 TO 10
1 garlic clove
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
10 ounces grape tomatoes
8 ounces baby mozzarella balls
1 cup fresh basil leaves
Maryland-Style Grilled Shrimp and Corn
You can grill shrimp in their shells to protect their delicate flesh, but this means that you have to remove the shells before eating them-usually a messy task. For easier access, peel the shrimp first and then crowded them onto skewers to prevent them from overcooking. Combine butter and seafood seasoning for a flavor-packed sauce. To complete the meal, microwave tender red potatoes and then toss everything in the butte sauce. Use small red potatoes measuring 1 to 2 inches in diameter. You wi need four 12-inch metal skewers for this recipe.
Halve potatoes, combine with 1 tablespoon water in bowl, and microwave covered, until potatoes are tender, 5 to 7 minutes; set aside and keep ware. Remove husks and silk from com and halve crosswise. Melt butter in skilled over medium heat. Whisk seafood seasoning into melted butter; set aside and keep warm.
Peel and devein shrimp, pat dry with paper towels, and toss with 1 tablespoon butter mixture. Thread shrimp onto four 12-inch metal skewers, alternating direction of heads and tails.
FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL
Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter mounded with charcoal briquettes (7 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
FOR A GAS GRILL
Tum all burners on high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave all burners on high.
Clean and oil cooking grate. Place shrimp skewers and corn on grill. cook (covered if using gas), turning shrimp and com as needed, until lightly charred. and cooked through, about 6 minutes for shrimp and 8 minutes for corn transfer shrimp to platter and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm while cm::. finishes cooking. Toss shrimp, com, and potatoes with remaining butter mixture arrange on platter. Mince 2 tablespoons parsley, sprinkle over top, and serve.
How to Devein Shrimp
To devein shrimp, hold shrimp firmly in 1 hand, then use paring knife to cut down back side of shrimp, about 1/a to ¼ inch deep, to expose vein. Using tip of knife, gently remove vein. Wipe knife against paper towel to remove vein and discard.
Seafood seasoning should be a spice mix that’s an essential ingredient in many shrimp and crab recipes. Predominant spices may be celery salt. mustard, and paprika. In the supermarket, look in the spice aisle or near the seafood department or use Paul Prudhomme’s
1 pound small red potatoes
4 ears corn
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
½ pounds extra-large shrimp
(21 to 25 per pound)