One of the best meals Doug and I have ever had was in Anguilla while on our honeymoon at Blanchard's. While Doug indulged in their signature sampler, I chose the Jamaican Jerk Shrimp. Both meals were fabulous. Doug and I often joke that we would love to jet down there for dinner some Saturday. I'm not joking when I say it ;)
While a trip to Anguilla on any given weekend may not be feasible, I decided to try and see if I could recreate some of Blanchard's signature dishes at home. Knowing that the Blanchards have written several books including this cookbook, I began scouring the internet for their Jamaican Jerk Shrimp recipe. Much to my surprise, I found it! Apparently back in 2003, Bob and Melinda appeared on a local Chicago television station and prepared this dish. The recipe for Jerk Shrimp was was listed on the station's website as well as some additional dishes that the Blanchards prepared that day. The original recipe is linked above. I made a few minor changes based on what I could find at our local market. Mainly, I replaced the Scotch Bonnet peppers with habanero(a close relative) and changed the preparation method slightly by marinating the shrimp in the sauce for a few hours before grilling.
Overall, Doug and I really enjoyed the shrimp. You must love heat though! It was incredibly flavorful and the shrimp was nice and tender. Just like at Blanchard's, I served the shrimp with sweet potatoes that I had prepared with some cinnamon and brown sugar. I did miss the delicious grilled cinnamon-rum bananas that Blanchard's serves alongside their shrimp though. I would make this recipe again, but when faced with eating jerk shrimp at home or a trip to Anguilla to eat at Blanchard's- I would still choose Blanchard's.
Jamaican Jerk Shrimp
Blanchard's Restaurant, Anguilla- Bob and Melinda Blanchard
1 Tbs. ground allspice
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 Tbs. dried thyme
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbs. light brown sugar (packed)
1 Tbs. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup soy sauce
¾ cup cider vinegar
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 habanero peppers, minced
1 small onion, minced
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails left on
Combine all the dry-ingredients and mix well. Using a whisk, slowly add the oil, soy sauce, vinegar, orange juice, and lime juice.
Put shrimp in ziploc bag and pour sauce into bag until shrimp is just covered. Reserve remaining sauce. Seal bag and using hands 'work' shrimp making sure each piece is covered. Put in refrigerator for at 2 hours.
Simmer remaining sauce in small saucepan over low-medium heat; stir in the peppers and onion; mix thoroughly. Simmer gently over medium heat for ten minutes.
Prepare grill or grill pan. Using tongs, remove shrimp from ziploc and place on place on grill. Grill until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Top the shrimp with the sauce and serve immediately.