What I love about Iron Chef is they are so creative within their constructs. I decided to honor Cat's creativity with something that is simple and innovative and interesting. I settled on her grilled shrimp and watermelon topped with pepper jelly.
You start by making a simple syrup for coating the watermelon and making the spicy-sweet pepper jelly. The shrimp get a quick toss in a spicy marinade and grilled about 2-3 minutes a side, followed by the watermelon. Rind and all to keep it together, coated in a little simple syrup, it is delicious and new! The shrimp is spiced but not hot, the pepper jelly is spicy and sweet, and the watermelon is somehow still cooling while grill-warm. It was such an interesting and delectable combination. Bonus? I never have to drive to the outlets for Harry and David red pepper jelly ever again! Thanks, Cat!
And as always, here are the other ladies who tried out some of Cat's finest:
Val - More Than Burnt Toast, Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed, Susan - The Spice Garden
Heather - girlichef, Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney, Amrita - Beetles Kitchen Escapades
Mary - One Perfect Bite, Sue - The View from Great Island, Barbara - Movable Feasts
Linda A - There and Back Again, Nancy - Picadillo, Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits
Veronica - My Catholic Kitchen, Annie - Most Lovely Things, Jeanette - Healthy Living
Claudia - Journey of an Italian Cook, Alyce - More Time at the Table
Kathy - Bakeaway with Me, Martha - Simple Nourished Living, Jill - Saucy Cooks
Sarah - Everything in the Kitchen Sink
Grilled Shrimp and Watermelon
Adapted from Cat Cora
2 cups of water
1 cup of sugar
2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
2 jalapeno peppers, cored, seeded, and diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 red onion, diced
small handful of cilantro, half stirred in at the end
1 pound of shrimp, peeled and devained with the tail on (frozen then thawed is fine!)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 small seedless watermelon, sliced into 1/4 inch wedges with the rind on
cilantro to garnish
First, prepare the simple syrup by combining the water and sugar and bringing to a boil. Divide the 2 cups of syrup by reserving 1 cup for the watermelon and adding the other cup to a medium sized sauce pan.
Add the peppers, garlic, onion, and half of the cilantro to the medium sized sauce pan. Keep on medium low heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes until it becomes jelly-like. Watch it closely at the end, it can burn! Add the other half of the cilantro and start the shrimp and watermelon!
For the shrimp, toss it in the olive oil, lime zest and juice, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper and let it sit for a few minutes.
I used a grill pan over medium heat to "grill", but a real one (charcoal please!) would probably be preferable. Cook for about 2-3 minutes a side.
Finally, baste the watermelon with the reserved simple syrup and grill for about 2 minutes a side. I didn't cook until it was super charred, just enough to get great marks and sweeten the flavor just enough.
Assemble and serve. Enjoy! I did . . .