Like many of my dishes lately this one comes from a discussion with my wife Jan. She is on the Noom program and instructs me on changing my cooking style to meet her needs. She has also been posting my dishes on the Noom group chat and she got a very positive response from the Noom councilor for my grilled shrimp tacos.
This dish started with the idea of replacing the corn tortillas with a lettuce wrap. This was followed by the idea that we should do something for Pride Month. Thus the rainbow seafood lettuce wrap was born—red bell pepper, orange mango, yellow bell pepper, green jalapeño/lettuce and purple carrot—I did not have access to fresh blue corn, so I settled for blueberries for desert.
Karl’s Pride Grilled Seafood Lettuce Wraps
1 lime, juiced
1 Tbs. Thai fish sauce
½ tsp. chervil
½ tsp. Black pepper, cracked
¼ tsp. chervil
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
8 drops monk fruit syrup or ½ tsp. agave syrup
¾ lb. large shrimp (16)
¾ lb. rock fish
¼ lb. calamari steak
1 Tbs. peanut oil½ tsp.1 cup Vidalia onion, ¼ inch diced
¾ cup red bell pepper, ¼ inch diced
¾ cup yellow bell pepper, ¼ inch diced
1 purple carrot, shredded
1 jalapeño chili, finely diced
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 mango, ¼ inch dice (about a cup)
1 head Butter lettuce
1 bunch cilantro
1 lb. fresh blueberries
(Optional) whipped cream
. Place all of the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and mix them together.
1. Peel, de-vein shrimp and place them in a bowl.
Tip: While it is better to leave the shells on when you grill shrimp, I am planning to marinate them as well and I did not want the flavor to be removed with the shells.
2. Stir in about a third of the marinade into the shrimp.
3. Pour the rest of the marinade into a small lipped tray and set the fish and calamari into the sauce.
Tip: Turn the seafood over every five minutes and stir the shrimp to redistribute the marinade.
Note: Do not marinate the seafood for more than 30 minutes. The lime juice “cooks” the meat, but if you marinate them too long the surface might get mushy and not sear well.
4. Ten minutes before grilling, drain the seafood well, reserving the marinade.
Tip: You will be adding some of the marinade to moisten the wrap filling as it cooks.
Note: Blot the seafood lightly with paper towels and let them air dry for 10 minutes. The point here is not to squeeze out all of the lime juice; it is just to get the surface dry enough to sear well when you are grilling it.
5. While the seafood is marinating prepare the rest of your filling ingredients.
Tip: Dice the vegetables—as directed above—and keep them separate. Grate the carrot and crush the garlic. Separate the lettuce leaves from the head and rinse them carefully—butter lettuce is frequently sold with the roots and dirt still attached. Coarsely chop the leafy parts of the cilantro to serve on the side at the table.
Note: Most of the year, I would have made this dish with yellow onions. However, sweet Vidalia onions are in season and I thought their mildness and sweetness would complement the flavor of this dish.
6. String the shrimp on bamboo skewers and grill the seafood directly over the flames for 5-6 minutes per side.
Tip: Do not overcook—the seafood should only ½-¾ cooked at this point. When you reheat it with the rest of the filling you do not want them to turn rubbery.
Note: A very useful tool for grilling fish is a seafood grill basket. This device allows you to flip the seafood at the same time without it falling apart—especially towards the end of the cooking time.
7. Add the peanut oil to a skillet and heat on high until the oil just starts to smoke.
8. Sauté the onions until they are translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
9. Add the bell peppers and continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes.
10. Stir in the carrot and jalapeño and sauté for another 3 minutes.
11. Pull the vegetables to the sides of the pan and sauté the garlic until fragrant, about one minute.
Tip: Turn the burner to low to keep the filling warm while you finish prepping the seafood.
12. Cut the cooled shrimp in half and slice the calamari into a half inch dice.
Tip: Break the fish into large pieces, but do not add it at this time.
Note: You will be stirring the ingredients in the pan while it is warming the seafood and if you added the fish at this time it would shred to bits.
13. Stir the shrimp, calamari, and mango into the pan of vegetables and increase the heat to medium high.
14. Cook the ingredients until re-warmed—about two minutes—and add the fish pieces and a splash of the marinade.
Note: You do not want a soggy filling, but if you wish you may add some cornstarch to the marinade before you add it to thicken the sauce.
15. Cook the filling for another minute to evaporate/thicken the marinade and to warm the fish through.
16. Serve it immediately with the lettuce wraps and cilantro.
17. Serve the blueberries for desert—whipped cream optional.
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