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Grilled Shrimp Martini

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This naturally gluten free Grilled Shrimp Martini is worth the effort. Sure you can skip half the steps and make a decent appetizer. You can serve it in a martini glass and people will still say “wow”. But when you use all the ingredients and choose fresh, even you will say “wow, this is amazing”. It is a fabulous, show-stopping, warm weather appetizer that is an annual ‘must make’ item on my summer entertaining list.

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My best advice for entertaining is these three tips:

  1. Choose recipes you know you can make well,
  2. Go for spectacular presentation (I’m talking martini glasses, shot glasses and pedestal trays) and,
  3. Use  fresh ingredients.

I have enjoyed this recipe on more than one patio and everyone agrees it is definitely worth the effortIn the above photo I served my Grilled Shrimp Martini on the dock at the lake in glass martini glasses. I like glass but if you must, or if your glasses are filled with drinks, this appetizer looks equally impressive in unbreakable martini glasses.  For a buffet presentation pile the whole recipe into an over-sized martini glass and place it prominently on your buffet.

Organize For Success – Grilled Shrimp Martini

Even when serving an everyday dinner there is timing involved. My husband still asks me, “how do you get everything done at the same time?” Part of the answer is practice, a lot of practice. I’m no chef, I do not cook 50 main course meals in one night. I just cook dinner over and over and over again.

This recipe is no different. When you are entertaining there are a lot of details to tend to. Once you have made any recipe a few times it gets easier, without even trying. There are simply no surprises and you know what the finished dish is supposed to look like. 

This recipe has three steps; prepping the vegetables, grilling them and making the dressing. I like to do all the prep in the morning. Then when I’m ready to serve it up I just toss the ingredients with the dressing, fill the martini glasses and top with a tortilla chip.

Thanks to Bonnie Stern’s Heart Smart cookbook for this wonderful recipe. This much-loved Canadian cookbook author and cooking instructor has been an inspiration to me for years. I haven’t made too many changes to her original recipe.

If you make this recipe I’d love to see your photo or leave me a comment and tell me if this was a bit of a culinary challenge and how it went.

If you like the wow presentation for summer entertaining you might like these recipes too:


1 lb shrimp, shelled
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 ears of corn
½ small red onion, sliced in rounds ¼ inch thick
1 red pepper, seeded
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 ripe avocado, diced
3 Tbsp lime juice (1½ limes)
1 clove garlic
1½ tsp chipotle chile puree
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp tequila (optional)
GARNISH - tortilla chips


Cut and assemble all vegetables on a tray. Lightly brush with oil.
Pat shrimp dry, sprinkle with salt and brush with oil. Grill for a few minutes per side or until shrimp are pink. Set aside to cool. Depending on the size cut each shrimp into 3 or 4 pieces.
Grill corn on all sides until lightly browned. Cool then cut kernels off the cob.
Grill onion slices for a few minutes per side until browned. Chop.
Grill red pepper until blackened. Place in a plastic bag and steam for 5 minutes. Peel off blackened skin and chop.
Combine shrimp with all the chopped vegetables, jalapeno, cilantro and avocado in a large bowl. Set aside. Can be prepared several hours before serving.
In a small bowl combine lime juice, garlic, chipotle, cumin and salt. Set aside until ready to serve.
Just before serving toss shrimp and vegetables with dressing and tequila. Serve in martini glasses and top with a single tortilla chip.


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