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Expand your grilling horizons

Grilling is a great way to cook many different types of foods. Burgers, chicken or steaks may be grilling staples, but many other foods are equally at home cooking over an open flame.

Shrimp grills up perfectly and can be enhanced with mesquite, oak or pecan wood. Wrapping shrimp with a spinach leaf not only increases the wow factor when plating, it also helps keep the shrimp tender and moist during cooking. Such is the case in this recipe for “Wood-Grilled Shrimp and Yellow Peppers” from “The Gardener & The Grill” (Running Press) by Karen Adler & Judith Fertig.

Wood-Grilled Shrimp and Yellow Peppers

Serves 4

1⁄2 cup moistened wood chips or dry wood pellets

11⁄2 pounds large shrimp (18 to 20 count), peeled and deveined

30 medium-size spinach leaves

2 yellow, red, or orange bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into quarters

1⁄4 cup olive oil

Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Prepare a hot fire on one side of your grill for indirect cooking.

Wrap each shrimp loosely with a large spinach leaf. Place the shrimp in a disposable aluminum pan. Lightly season with sea salt and pepper, and then drizzle lightly with olive oil.

For a charcoal grill, throw 1⁄2 cup moistened wood chips or dry wood pellets directly on the coals right before you want to grill. For a gas grill, enclose the wood chips or pellets in a foil packet with holes poked in the top; place the packet on the grill grate over the heat source.

When you see the first wisp of smoke from the wood, place the shrimp on the indirect side of the heat and the peppers on the direct side. Close the lid and grill for 8 minutes. Open the lid and turn the peppers. Grill for another 8 minutes. Open the lid and turn the peppers. Grill for another 8 minutes, then open the lid and transfer the peppers to the indirect side. Close the lid and transfer the peppers to the indirect side. Close the lid and grill for 15 to 20 minutes more, or until the shrimp are cooked through and they have a pleasant, smoky aroma.

To serve, cut the peppers into strips, arrange on plates, and top with the shrimp.

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