Surf and turf is a classic pairing. Savory meat and sweet seafood set each other off to delicious effect. One of the best ways to pair them is in skewers of shrimp and steak. The best grilled shrimp and the best grilled steak add up to even more than the sum of their delicious parts. However, there are a few details worth paying attention to, because they can make all the difference. There are many recipes out there, of varying quality. Use the information we’ve put together here to evaluate those recipes and to make the most mouthwatering grilled kabobs possible.
The Best Grilled Shrimp
The first quality of the best grilled shrimp is freshness. The faster the shrimp go from the sea to your grill, the better. Maine shrimp are an excellent choice for several reasons. They’re caught in the US, and transported so fast they don’t need to be pre-frozen. Therefore they arrive in your local store plump and juicy, not soggy or decaying. Also, if you can, buy shell-on shrimp and shell them yourself. Not only does this preserve freshness but it provides you with a bonus. You can make the flavorful shrimp shells into a delicious seafood stock with many uses.
Shrimp cook fast and are vulnerable to drying out. To keep them in pace with the steak, brine them after shelling them. Even 15 minutes’ soak in a water, salt, and sugar solution ensures your shrimp will cook up crisp, snappy, and bursting with oceanic juices.
The Best Grilled Steak
Grilled kabobs result in a temperature gradient across the chunks of meat, from charred outside to rare centers. Because of this, the best grilled steak is one with a homogenous structure that can handle a wide range of donenesses. Top sirloin is a perfect candidate. As well as all these qualities it brings great beefy flavor and cuts into lovely even-sized cubes. Try to make the cubes about 1.5 to 2 times as thick as the shrimp, for a good doneness range. Coincidentally this is usually 1.5 to 2 inches thick.
Vegetable Grilled Kabobs
Usually when assembling grilled kabobs we thread vegetables on alternately with protein. However, we encourage you to keep the vegetables to their own skewers instead. This is because vegetables and meat overcook differently. On the one hand vegetables cook to mush and fall off their skewers. On the other hand meat shrinks and toughens. These different failure modes require different solutions. Cooking vegetables over direct heat chars them beautifully while keeping them firm. However indirect heat guarantees the best grilled steak and shrimp. So give each kind of ingredient its own skewer and bring them together at serving time.
Time to Skewer!
To assemble your grilled kabobs be certain your skewers are prepared as well. If they’re made of wood you’ll have to soak them well for some hours or even overnight. On the other hand, metal skewers don’t risk burning up, but can become very hot. You’ll need tongs and good grill gloves to handle them. Since shrimp are more delicate than steak, try to skewer each twice, to help prevent any from falling off. (This is also a good tip for flat vegetable pieces such as slabs of sweet pepper.) Also of course be careful to pierce everything through the center, for even cooking and no losses. A little care when assembling your surf and turf skewers leads to superior results.
Steak and shrimp skewers, accompanied by deliciously charred vegetables, make for an easy and delicious dinner of grilled kabobs. What’s more fun than turning your sizzling meal over open flame and pulling it off long skewers to devour? Just remember these tips we’ve provided to ensure the best grilled shrimp and steak for the perfect surf and turf experience.