Alot has changed since my family's last visit earlier this summer. Major life changes. We have temporarily relocated and are now in the burbs of Sarasota. We are here to be exact (click link to read my past post on Nokomis Beach). We're also closer to one of my family's favorite beaches now. We're not sure if it will end up being permanent or not. One day at a time. The funny thing is that when my family came down to visit while on our way to Siesta Key Beach together, Papa Smurf and I both told them how much we enjoyed our visit to Sarasota. We told them about how much we liked the city and would've moved there if it was just us but chose not to as we weren't sure it was as child friendly as W.C. Sarasota in contrast to W.C. seems very "cosmo" (as in cosmopolitan) and artsy. The vibe that we received from the city seemed to be a mix of established white collar career driven singletons and senior citizens. However, we absolutely loved it and could see ourselves living there in a different time in life, maybe when the kids got older we thought. Well, be careful what you speak out into the universe! God has a sense of humor because here we are.
Anyways, whenever my family comes down to visit two things are guaranteed, 1. We're going grill, cook up lots of good food and feast like kings; 2. We're going to the beach. In the latest vlogs we venture out to Siesta Key and St. Pete Beach. Siesta's crowds are massive, which usually leads us down to the "residential side" of the beach. But it's less maintained than the tourist side. There are more debris and seaweed. Leaving the water's edge a little murky. It's not as kept up as the tourist side and doesn't have all the bells and whistles. The snack bar, playground, picnic tables, showers, etc are on the "tourist side" and it's newly remodeled. The downside to that side is that parking can be horrendous on the weekends though and nearly impossible to find a park without circling the lot several times like a vulture.
I favor St. Pete Beach as it's less crowded but just as beautiful, esp the water. However, you can't beat Siesta's sugar baby powder sand. Most of the times that we have taken pictures at Siesta Key you can see our legs covered in that sand.
On one of the days we cooked out and feasted we steamed some blue crabs and there were shrimp to be prepared as well. Both are staples with Marylanders, usually steamed and topped with old Bay (among other ingredients). Simple steamed peel and eat shrimp are a standard accompaniment with crabs. However, instead of the usual steamed shrimp with Old Bay my mother and sister were craving something different. Initially, they wanted skewered shrimp / kabobs. Sadly, I was out of skewers so this gem of a dish was born.
Rainbow Caribbean Shrimp
Large shrimp (deveined) ~ 30 count
Large canned pineapple chunks and juice
2-3 Whole garlic cloves (pressed)
1 Cup of diced/ cubed red onions
1 1/2 Cups of green, red, and yellow peppers (we just used green at the time)
1-2 Tablespoons of Jerk Seasoning (Recipe can be found here). Recommend Walkerswood brand jarred jerk seasoning.
1 Bunch of fresh sprigs of thyme (4-5) stems
2 Tablespoons of Oil, EVOO or Canola can be used
Season shrimp generously with jerk seasoning in a large bowl. Toss shrimp to coat. Using garlic press add 2-3 cloves of fresh pressed garlic (garlic press featured in my "How to Make Mojo Criollo Marinade" video). Toss to coat. Add canned pineapples and their juice. Add fresh chopped peppers and red onion. Top with fresh sprigs of thyme. Let the shrimp marinate for up to 30 minutes refrigerated.
In a large skillet (for best results use a skillet with some depth to it instead of a shallow one), drizzle oil across surface. Then dump your shrimp mixture into the skillet topped with the thyme sprigs. Place your skillet on a grill grate over fresh hot goals (glowing and grey). For best results cooking over a medium to high flame is not recommended. Skewers can be used for the shrimp, peppers, onions, and pineapple in place of a skillet. Cook with the grill covered to allow smoke flavor to get into the shrimp, fruit and vegetables. Grill shrimp until they are a pale sherbert orange/ pink. Serve warm or chilled. Suggested sides are grilled corn or rice.