Saturday, December 06, 2008

Quick, a Holiday Appetizer!

You'd think I'd have learned by now, but once again I had painted myself into a corner. I'd scheduled a walk with a friend and our dogs for first thing in the morning and shortly thereafter needed to leave for a holiday brunch at my friend Madeline's home. And this was one of those ladies' gatherings, where a bowl of dip and crackers from Trader Joe's wasn't going to cut it.

The plan was to make something the day before, or at least get ingredients that could be thrown together quickly the next morning, but the day had gotten out of hand and I didn't make it to the store. Panic was starting to set in when I remembered my mother's recipe for these simple skewered shrimp.

The next morning I ran to the store first thing, bought whole shrimp for $7.99 a pound rather than $12.99 for the peeled and deveined ones, and came home and peeled them. Stirring the marinade together took no time and they were happily marinating in the fridge when Michel showed up for our walk.

All I had to do was skewer the shrimp when I got back, broil them for a couple of minutes in the oven and throw mean "arrange them artfully"...on a plate and head off to the brunch with a lovely platter of hors d'oeuvres. Whew!

Tarragon Mustard Shrimp Skewers

1/3 c. Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 green onion, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh tarragon or 2 tsp. dried
2 lbs. shrimp, peeled with tail on
12-15 9" bamboo skewers

In medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk mustard and olive oil together. Add green onion and tarragon and stir to combine. Add shrimp and toss to cover. Place in refrigerator to marinate for at least 1/2 hour (or longer if you have the time). Submerge skewers in water to soak so they won't burn when broiling.

Skewer shrimp on soaked skewers, grouping them with three shrimp on the upper half and three on the lower half, leaving about 1" gap in the middle of the skewer. Place skewers on broiler pan and broil in the oven 2 minutes per side or until cooked through. Take out of oven and, with garden shears, clip skewers in half. They're also terrific when grilled on a charcoal grill.

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