Meet Keane Amdahl, author of the book “Lakefish: Modern Cooking with Freshwater Fish” and marketing director for the Twin Cities’ Coastal Seafoods & Café, one of the nation’s premier seafood grocers and cafes.
Keane is a long-time seafood and lakefish grilling enthusiast who develops and creates some of Coastal café’s tastiest grilled menu ideas either in his own backyard or Coastal’s backdoor grill. And, even though he lives in one of our coldest, snowiest metros, Keane doesn’t let the long, wintery season hinder his passion. In fact, he leans into winter grilling and proclaims it the best time of year to sizzle up seafood.
Keane offers his winter grilling tips and his favorite way to sizzle up shrimp.
By Keane Amdahl
There’s just something about sparking up the grill in the middle of a snowstorm that somehow makes you feel maybe just a little bit more Midwestern than most. The cold air. The hot heat. There’s something in the ritual that gives it added flair when done in the throes of winter.
As a glorified fishmonger, I may be a bit biased, but grilling is also a great way to cook fish and seafood. In the post-holiday months, it can even be a way to eat a little healthier without having to sacrifice on flavor. Everyone already knows that grilled seafood is the best seafood, so why not bust out the grill in the middle of January? Fish, crab, lobster, scallops or, in this case, shrimp are all perfect winter grilling candidates.
In order to make-up for having to stand out in the cold, I like to add a little extra heat to my seafood during the winter months. In fact, this is a great time to bust out your favorite Buffalo sauce or Buffalo sauce recipe because these grilled Buffalo Shrimp work as a perfect little weeknight meal or as a great party appetizer. They cook up quickly, and it’s easy to scale up and do a lot at a time. Plus, the grilled shrimp flavor with the tangy heat is a perfect pairing.
I like to take it up a notch and add a few tablespoons of Buffalo sauce to my favorite tartar sauce and serve that on the side instead of blue cheese. You get the creaminess from the tartar sauce, along with the acidity and heat from the Buffalo sauce. We serve this in our little café and it’s a big winner every time it lands on someone’s table.
If you ask me, wintertime is absolutely the best time for grilling, especially when you’re incorporating great seafood into the mix.
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