Spiriteds, how do you feel about March Madness? I happen to love it, if only because my alma mater doesn’t do nearly as well on the gridiron during the fall. Year after year we slog through football season and cheer our way through March Madness. Last night we won the Big 12 Championship. Where am I? Dead. On. The. Floor. So much excitement. Even K-Hubs, my in-state rival, got in on the action, cheering IN FAVOR of my team. But, a win is a win is a win, and K-Hubs knows good basketball when he see it. Do I cheer for his team in return? Yes, I have been known to cheer in the direction of the tv when his team is on. But don’t tell anyone. We are proof that opposites attract. Furthermore, today’s recipe, Sautéed Shrimp Appetizer Skewers? They are GAME ON.
With the playoffs about to begin and St. Patrick’s Day just days away, now seems as good a time as any to whip up a batch or 12 of these skewers. We’re just doing our duty, folks. Gotta make ’em, gotta eat ’em. I originally thought of grilling the shrimp. But March, in all her glory, brought us 70-degree weather one day and snow the next. So, I’ll be back with a workable grilling plan. In the meantime, we’ll sauté the succulent shrimp.
One thing I LOVE about these Sautéed Shrimp Appetizer Skewers is that they take after the tomato caprese salad kabobs I see floating around the Interwebs. However, these skewers don’t contain cheese and, thus, remain completely paleo. The juicy shrimp do a nice job of standing in for the cheese. It doesn’t hurt that these same shrimp are sautéed to perfection in a peppered garlic drizzle. The drizzle is so ridiculously amazing, I ate it straight out of the saucepan. So there is that.
If you can’t tolerate cheese, but you can tolerate seafood, then this is a recipe worth trying. I don’t feel like I’m giving anything up, and I don’t feel like I’m missing out. Furthermore, if you’re serving these to guests, they won’t notice the change either. I suspect they’ll be too busy chowing down to care! In the words of Toodle when she was little, “I can’t wanna care about that.” Truth, sister. Just preaching what we’re all thinking.
Another reason to love Sautéed Shrimp Appetizer Skewers is how quick and easy they are to make. First, I heat the olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in the saucepan. While that is warming up, I rinse the fresh basil and tomatoes, letting them dry while I head back to the seafood. Then I sauté the shrimp in the garlic peppered olive oil drizzle. Be still, my heart. Once that’s done, I start assembling the ingredients onto the skewers. It’s that easy. In fact, I planned to make some during last night’s championship game, but I got so caught up in who was dribbling where, I completely forgot. Fandom is no small feat.
As for finding the right kind of skewer/kabob thingys, that was a surprisingly easy and low-cost feat. I managed to find wooden skewers at the grocery store for about $2. That was fast and about as easy as finding tomatillos for Green Goddess Fajitas, although perhaps a little less embarrassing. 🙂
But I have a confession. This recipe stayed with me after I published it. Something wasn’t quite right. You CAN put these on skewers and make them into kabobs. But, if you want something even easier and faster to assemble, then skip the long skewers and head straight for the toothpicks. They work wonders. In this case, I thread one piece of shrimp, one basil leaf, and one grape tomato onto my toothpick and call it done. And, in that case, you’ll only need 12 pieces of shrimp, 12 basil leaves, and 12 grape tomatoes for each batch.
- Can I make these ahead of time and store them? If you want to serve them warm, make them just prior to serving. If I’m making them for a party, then they are the last food I prepare before guests arrive. To serve them cold, make your skewers the same day and store them in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve them that afternoon or evening.
- Should I use fresh shrimp? Fresh is best, however if you use frozen, then thaw them according to package directions. Adjust prep times accordingly.
- Does it matter what size shrimp I use? Use any size you like. If you use jumbo shrimp and toothpicks in place of skewers, just keep an eye on the weight as they may start to get a little heavy.
My Magic 8 ball says more basketball is in my future. And so are a batch or 10 of these Sautéed Shrimp Appetizer Skewers. Happy appetizer-ing, Spiriteds!
Sautéed Shrimp Appetizer Skewers
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 20 mins
- Yield: 12 skewers 1x
- 24 fresh shrimp
- 24 grape tomatoes (about 1 pint)
- 12 fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 1 teaspoon black pepper (more as desired)
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 12 skewers
- Rinse tomatoes and basil leaves and set aside to dry.
- In a medium saucepan, combine shrimp, olive oil, garlic, pepper, and sea salt, sautéing until shrimp are cooked through. Save drizzle leftover in pan to use as a dressing on the finished skewers.
- For each skewer, thread one shrimp first, followed by a grape tomato, basil leaf, another tomato, and finally, another shrimp. For large basil leaves, fold them in half before adding to the skewer.
- Repeat for each of the remaining skewers.
- Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator for an hour or two.
To make mini toothpick versions, you’ll need 12 shrimp, 12 basil leaves, and 12 grape tomatoes. Build your mini skewers by first thread the shrimp, followed by the basil leaf, and finally with the grape tomato. Preparation instructions and remaining ingredients remain the same. Use any extra garlic peppered olive oil as a drizzle.