It took me about 3 gorgeous days in a row to realize that my back patio was NOT going to cut it. All the row homes in Baltimore have back alley “patios”, which is a nice way of saying a cement floor with cement walls, dead weeds growing out of a cement-encased box of rocky dirt, and various disgusting trash items and roof debris scattered hither-thither among haphazard trash cans. I sat out there once in a desperate attempt to get tan (AKA burned) and had to take a shower immediately. It was terrible.
So, I went Extreme-Home-Makeover on that dump. I cleaned out the trash, tore up the weeds, bought some Adirondack chairs, sifted out the rocky dirt and put in some tomato plants, herbs, and flowers in some fresh soil, and bought some lights to make it evening-accessible. Best yet, there was a pile of old bricks that the-boy-friend built into a “grill”… with an inlet for hot coals and a grate over top. It sounds ridiculously ghetto (which it is) but it works like a charm!
So to commemorate the rehabbed patio, I had to cook outside. Hamburgers and hot dogs will come with time, but last night I had a craving for shrimp. With a small amount of hot coals, these things cook really quickly, and they’re so easy to serve up right then and there.
I brought my cutting board outside and mixed up a quick cocktail sauce. All you need is ketchup, freshly squeezed lemon juice, horseradish, and something to make it slightly spicy like Tabasco or cayenne pepper. Finish it with a pinch of salt and some fresh ground pepper, and you’re done!
Toss the peeled, deveined shrimp in some salt, pepper and a touch of olive oil and throw them on the grill. Depending on the heat of your coals, they’ll take anywhere from a few seconds to a minute to cook. They turn pink and curl up when they’re ready. Serve right away with the cocktail sauce!
- Raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Salt, pepper, and a touch of olive oil
- ½ cup of ketchup
- 1-2 tablespoons of horseradish
- 3 tablespoons of lemon juice (~2 lemons)
- Cayenne pepper (as much as you like)
- Fresh ground pepper
- Pinch of salt