entertaining ideas: grilled buffalo shrimp and blue cheese dip

Another post by popular request: today's feature is grilled buffalo shrimp with blue cheese dip. I've made this recipe twice and the first time was my best effort. So ladies if you enjoyed this when I made it the second time for a tennis party read on and take note of what was better about version 1. For my first attempt I used frozen shrimp that were a nice large size, thawed overnight, drained and patted dry. I bought fresh shrimp for version 2 and they were smaller and I did not pat them dry so they steamed a bit on the grill which was not good for the flavor or the texture. So, buy nice-sized fresh or frozen and make sure they are nice and dry before you toss them with the olive oil. This is a great appetizer and worth firing up the grill even in the snow like I did back in February. Tonight it will be hot and steamy, but it's a Saturday so round up some friends, chill a nice beverage and grill some shrimp. Happy entertaining!

Grilled Buffalo Shrimp with Blue Cheese Dip

1/2 C sour cream (light works great, never buy fat free)
1/2 C crumbled blue cheese or gorgonzola (my favorite)
1/4 C chopped scallions
2 T chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp milk

2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined (last shell segment and tail fan attached is nice)
2 T olive oil
1/4 C unsalted butter, melted
1/4 C Frank's RedHot hot sauce
1/2 bunch celery, cleaned and cut in 4-inch sticks

Stir together all dip ingredients and season with 1/8 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper to taste. Dip can be made ahead and chilled.

Prepare grill for medium heat cooking. Toss shrimp (remember nice and dry) with olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Oil grill rack or use a nice grilling basket (I have a three options, love those things) and grill shrimp, turning/tossing once, and keeping covered if using a gas grill until pink and opaque (5-8 minutes, depending on size). Do not overcook the shrimp. Grab your beverage and just stay by the grill. Take a friend with you if you have to so you don't leave the shrimp to ruin (possibly you spent some money on the shrimp too for extra motivation). In a large bowl stir together melted butter and hot sauce. Add shrimp and toss until coated. Serve with dip and celery sticks.


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