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Always a Crowd Pleaser: Buffalo Shrimp

This weekend, I orchestrated one slamdinger of a birthday dinner for my husband…if I do say so myself. The menu included everything from deviled eggs to Thomas Keller’s devil chocolate cupcakes, and also lots of summer goodies like heirloom tomatoes and grilled corn on the cob. I also made one of my favorite appetizers: buffalo shrimp. Yes, that’s right: take all that makes a buffalo chicken wing so irresistible—tangy, messy,  I don’t-care-that-I’m-eating-bar-food-for-dinner-and-that-my-fingers-are-orange-it’s-so-good—combine it with grilled shrimp, and you have an appetizer that appeals to all ages…

And less you think I’ve gone totally cave man on you, I first saw this recipe in Gourmet (please, please, come back to us Gourmet magazine!). I’ve since made this dish for so many summer get-togethers and they always are well loved. You must include a blue cheese dip. I make my own with a combination of 1/2 cup Hellman’s, 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt, a little buttermilk to loosen it up, a bunch of thinly sliced scallions or chives, about 1/2 cup of crumbled Maytag blue cheese or any kind you like, salt and white pepper to taste, and a little squirt of lemon juice. The rest is just 4 ingredients: shrimp (fresh if you have them, but I’ve also used frozen wild shrimp from Whole Foods), olive oil, butter, Frank’s Hot Sauce, (and salt and pepper).  And unlike the buffalo chicken wings you get at your local watering hole, these are not fried. Bonus!

Recipe for Buffalo Shrimp
For 6 people you will need about 2 pounds of large shrimp, raw, with their shells on.
-Thread shrimp onto metal skewers or bamboo ones that have been soaked.
-Brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and white pepper.
-In a disposable aluminum dish (like the size of a brownie pan) place a half stick of unsalted butter and 1/4 cup of Frank’s Hot Sauce. Place pan on grill so that the heat from the charcoal will melt the butter; once the butter is melted, swirl it with the hot sauce to combine and keep warm (you can do this step while grilling the shrimp if your grill is large enough).
-Grill shrimp over medium high heat (make sure to turn them frequently so they don’t burn or overcook, they won’t take long, maybe 3 minutes per side). When the shrimp are done, remove from the grill and slide them carefully off of the skewers and into the pan with sauce.
-Toss several times to combine well and then place shrimp on a platter.
-Serve with blue cheese on the side, as well as carrot and celery sticks, if you’d like.
Enjoy!

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