OMG, another intuitive success. My intent was to re-create a dish I'd had at a restaurant some time ago with capers and olives in a relatively light tomato sauce. I thought about adding lemon zest, but changed my mind. Next time! This recipe would also be awesome with any other seafood - in my imaginings, I see monkfish, calamari steaks, sea bass, and snapper as alternatives. I wouldn't want to impede the delicate flavor of scallops, abalone, or trout, though. This sauce was so delicious, that I'm likely to try it with salmon, tuna, and chicken just to see if it works.
1Skewer shrimp or lay in a single layer in a fish grilling cage.
2Brush both sides with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt & pepper. It's hard to find, but I used half regular sea salt and half smoked sea salt. Smoked sea salt adds a nice flavor note, but too much can overpower the dish. If you want to use smoked salt, I suggest grinding it together with regular sea salt with a mortar & pestle.
3Cover & refrigerate the shrimp while making the sauce.
4Get the outdoor grill going. I used oak wood (there's a lot of it around here), Other woods will impart other flavors. Don't worry that the different woods will be a problem, because the shrimp cook so quickly they won't pick up enough of the smoke flavor to significantly change the outcome. Gas or charcoal are just as good.
5Saute shallots, garlic, and cardamom pod in olive oil until translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
6Remove cardamom pod and discard. If you can't find whole cardamom pods, use a small pinch of cardamom.
7Add tomatoes, bay leaf, olives, capers, jalapenos, 1/4 tsp regular sea salt, and 1/8 tsp crushed Tellicherry pepper. Don't use the smoked salt here. It will be too intense.
8Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to very low - just to keep warm while cooking shrimp.
9When the grill is as hot as it's going to get, around 500+ degrees, grill the shrimp just until they turn pink - a minute or two. Do not overcook the shrimp!
10Remove from grill.
11To serve, ladle tomato sauce on a plate, top with a skewer of shrimp. Brown rice and/or cornbread on the side.