Seafood On My Mind!

By: Sharecropperbob
Vacation meals should be fun to prepare and delightful to eat! In addition, leisure meals should be easy to prepare! I'm pretty sure that's a law in most parts of the country, especially on the Gulf Coast. No one wants to spend their vacation time slaving over a hot stove. Dinner is even more difficult when you have to serve twenty or more people.

Each year our extended family gets together for a family reunion of sorts, sharing the costs of renting a couple of houses on a beach somewhere. It usually works out pretty good for everyone. Since there are at least five families involved, someone different fixes dinner each evening. It has turned into a contest as to who will have the best meal.

When it was our family's time to feed the hungry relatives, we opted for a seafood dinner. I wanted to fix something that was fairly easy on the cooks. Just about anywhere on the gulf coast you can find a fish market that sells everything from shrimp to shark. The larger stores of course, sell a bigger variety. Often the seafood comes off their own boats and as a result their prices can be a little lower. I like the romance and aroma of a larger seafood market makes me see in my mind the fishing boats coming in with the sun rising behind them after a long night's fishing.

I went grocery shopping in the early afternoon because I wanted to have time for the seafood to marinate before cooking. I found such a place in Carrabelle, Florida. Just off the main road to Apalachicola, Florida. This fish market reminds one of a long forgotten Florida; the one without tourists standing shoulder to shoulder on the road in front of the place. They even had a wharf where a well experienced shrimp boat was tied to the pier. This old fish market promised to have everything we wanted for the evening meal.

Dinner was going to be as good as I could make it! I wanted the rest of the clan to lay down their aprons in defeat even before they had a chance to heat up the stove. I was going to have seafood kabobs with a tossed salad of just about any kind of fresh vegetable we could find to throw into the mix. My kitchen is no place for wooses!

In the seafood market I found what I needed for the kabobs; shrimp, bay scallops and shark. They had some great cuts of swordfish which would have worked but I have my own personal boycott of swordfish going on because they are getting scarce due to over fishing.

For our crowd I bought 3 pounds each of the seafood I had chosen. I was confident that would be enough to feed everyone. Kabobs can't be just meat alone so I went down the street and bought a fresh pineapple, bananas, a few peaches, a couple of apples, limes and two red bell peppers.

Back at the house I began preparations for dinner. I cut the shark up into 1 inch squares. Then I peeled and devein the shrimp, using small scissors to cut the shrimp. I didn't want to disturb the tails. The scallops were extra large so I cut them in half. I then cut up the fruit and vegetable into coordinating pieces and thread the seafood and the vegetables on wooden skewers that have been soaking in water for at least an hour.

Now for the marinade: 2 large cloves of garlic crushed, juice of one lemon and one lime, 1/3 cup of olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Place the kabobs in flat pans and pour the mixture over them. Marinate for two hours before cooking.

When the coals on the grill are white it's time to cook. Cook the kabobs from 6 to 8 minutes depending on the temperature of the briquettes. The shrimp and scallops are done when the meat is no longer translucent. The shark is done when the meat flakes easily. Don't over cook and spoil the whole thing.

This is a very easy dinner to make and it looks great on the grill. After all, presentation is what makes a great meal.
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