Well, Charcutepalooza fans, Domenica Marchetti and Nancy Pollard are always a dollar short and an hour late, but what we managed to do in this culinary Olympics of sorts was at least a bronze medal if not higher. Both of us are totally DOH (dress over head) with work stuff…BUT we managed to do hot smoked shrimp for tacos and then I did the hot smoked Duck Ham from Charcuterie which I will write about next. Only change was that dedicated grocery chauffeur got duck legs instead of duck breasts. No matter, this recipe is fabulous, doable in even the tiniest of apartment kitchens. Just a few ingredients and a Cameron Smoker. For those of you interested in the previous Marchetti-Pollard efforts in this heroic year long venture with meat, read her wonderful blog on our corned beef escapade. Who knew corned beef could be so good!
So first, Domenica’s idea for shrimp tacos:
I bought 3 lbs of shrimp from Black Salt, then shelled and removed veins- I always remove veins in shrimp.
So the marinade I came up with per lb of shrimp:
1.t tsp Vann’s Mole Seasoning
1 tsp Italian Grilling Salt from The Scrumptious Pantry
3 Tbs Alessi Balsamic Vinegar
4 Tbs Any good tasting EVOO that is not expensive (Whole Foods 365 series comes to mind)
Mix all the above ingredients and after you have cleaned and shelled the shrimp, allow them to marinate for at least an hour before the next step.
Scott, who is the Grillmeister at Domenica’s house, has a neat cold smoking contraption that is
made to fit most Weber grills. It is a bullet-style smoker that burns charcoal in a bottom compartment. Between the charcoal at the bottom and the grill at the top is a basin for liquid. In this case the liquid was a dark beer. According to Domenica, the liquid turns to steam, keeping the moisture inside the smoker high and theoretically adding to the flavor.
He kept the temperature in the smoker in the 220-250 F degree range so the shrimp would smoke and cook slowly. Even so, they took longer than expected, according to Domenica. You should count on about 45 minutes for that amount of shrimp.
Scott used a blend of three woods that are all good for smoking seafood (maple, apple and alder). About four handfuls of this combination were soaked in a bowl for about an hour. Then during the smoking process, Scott would add another handful of the soaked chips onto the burning charcoal. Domenica advises to wring out the wood chips a bit by squeezing your fist around them, so that you are not throwing lots of excess water onto the charcoal. You can see from this picture, that the shrimp were on a special perforated grill pan to keep them from falling through the regular grill.
We then grilled corn and flour tortillas directly on Domenica’s gas stove. We even flipped them by hand, so Larissa Avendano would be proud of us!
Domenica made a vinegary coleslaw (kind of like the curtido for El Salvadorean pupusas, and a great guacamole. She also had bought a neat cherry based salsa from Michigan of course!
There was not a shrimp left. I am embarrassed to say that I even at the little tail shells in my tacos.