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Food The Bite:

Grilled Shrimp With Chili, Lemon, And Oregano

Photo by Johnny Miller

Grilled Shrimp With Chili, Lemon, And Oregano
This is one of those entrées I make on auto-pilot when hosting guests—without fail, it wins over adults and children alike. Simple to prepare, it can easily be doubled or even tripled. That said, there are some things to keep in mind. You can make the marinade in advance, but to ensure that the flavor stays bold, don’t add the oregano until the last minute. And don’t be tricked into thinking longer is better when marinating. A good rule of thumb for fish or shellfish is ten to fifteen minutes max—any longer and the acids will effectively “cook” the fish. Finally, don’t forget to slather on the reserved marinade post-grilling—it’s bright, zippy notes really wake up the fire-kissed shrimp.

Grilled Shrimp With Chile, Lemon, And Oregano

Athena Calderone, Cook Beautiful


Serves 6 As An Appetizer, Or 4 As A Main Course

2 pounds head-on jumbo shrimp, cleaned and deveined

5 medium lemons

8 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1⁄3 cup lightly packed fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped, plus more for garnish

1⁄2 teaspoon hot red chile, such as Fresno or habanero

Aleppo pepper, for serving


Rinse the shrimp with cold water and pat them dry.

Zest 1 lemon and juice it. Juice another lemon to make 1⁄3 cup juice total. Cut the remaining 3 lemons into wedges. Set all aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, process the garlic, lemon juice, and salt. With the motor still running, slowly pour in the oil and process until the mixture is smooth and emulsified. Transfer the lemon-garlic sauce to a bowl and stir in the oregano and chile.

Place the shrimp in a bowl and cover with a third of the sauce, reserving the remainder for serving. Marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.

Preheat the grill over medium-high heat to 400oF. Grill the shrimp until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Pour the reserved sauce over the shrimp and sprinkle with the oregano, lemon zest, and a pinch of Aleppo pepper. Serve with the lemon wedges.

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