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Shrimp on the Barbie

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When planning our vacation to Australia I decided I would post Shrimp on the Barbie. My Australian friend confirmed that in the land down under they really do like to cook shrimp and they do it on a ‘barbie’. The first YouTube video I found was on Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube where he was cooking Shrimp on the Barbie with the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background.

Jamie Oliver skewered shrimp and cubes of ciabatta bread wrapped in pancetta. His used fresh rosemary skewers and grilled the lemon halves before squeezing them over the skewers. They looked delicious and inspired me to post this easy version to kick off the summer barbecue season.

Gluten Free Bread Cubes for Shrimp on the Barbie

For my Shrimp on the Barbie I needed a gluten free bread that would hold up to the barbecue. Of course I could just skip the bread but that would be the easy way out and I wanted something a little special. Aussie food was my challenge for July and I was doing it right.

I wasn’t dying to bake a rustic loaf of crusty bread for this menu. I wanted something easy so I bought a bag of Udi’s gluten free whole grain seeded dinner rolls and cut each bun into twelve pieces. They held up to the heat and absorbed some flavour from the pancetta.

For the shrimp I bought big shrimp, go big or go home I say. When I’m serving Shrimp on the Barbie I do not want to disappoint my guests with small shrimp. I chose 16/20 count shrimp.

Pancetta vs Bacon

Pancetta is an Italian version of bacon that is cured but not smoked. I see it sliced and pre-packaged in well-stocked grocery stores and Italian specialty shops. You could substitute bacon but the taste will not be the same. Give the pancetta a try if you can find it.

One final touch is to grill the fresh lemons. Grilling them adds a charred taste and when heated the lemons yield more juice than you thought possible. Be very careful when squeezing the hot juice over the platter of skewers.

So if you have a reason to celebrate Australia or you just feel like cooking Shrimp on the Barbie give this recipe a try. If I get a chance I will be making these on a beach somewhere in the land down under.

Ingredients

36 large shrimp (16-20 count)
36 thin slices of pancetta
36 GF bread cubes, I used 3 Udi’s Whole Grain seeded dinner rolls
2 lemons, halved
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 large cloves of garlic, smashed
salt and pepper
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Directions

1
In a small bowl combine the oil, garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary. Set aside.
2
Thread pancetta-wrapped shrimp and bread cubes (pancetta-wrapped or not) onto a metal skewer alternating until you have 3 of each on the skewer. Place assembled skewers on a tray.
3
Preheat the barbecue. Generously brush the oil mixture over both sides of the skewers and the cut sides of each lemon half.
4
Grill skewers until shrimp are pick and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Grill lemons until they are charred. Place skewers on a platter. Top with lemon halves and allow to cool slightly.
5
Squeeze warm lemons over skewers at the table.

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