These terrific recipes include grilled shrimp with miso butter and an easy grilled paella.
Food & Wine
1 of 18
Grilled Shellfish and Vegetables al Cartoccio
Cartoccio means “paper” in Italian, which refers to the wrapping used to make packets for grilling. Here, foil packets preserve every drop of the delicious seafood juices for sopping up with crusty bread.
Blaine Wetzel grills oysters, then drizzles them with butter flavored with sage, oregano, lemon juice and tequila. He prefers oysters from Samish Bay in the northern Puget Sound, where some food historians say the first Pacific oysters grew in 1919.
While the squid is tasty after 30 minutes of marinating, an extra half hour makes a big difference in the flavor. This supersimple marinade keeps for several days in the refrigerator, so it’s great to make a large batch and save half for later.
Bubba Hiers, brother of TV cook Paula Deen, serves fantastic grilled Gulf Coast oysters smothered in butter and Parmesan cheese. Bobby Flay modifies the recipe by topping his oysters with a blend of butter, tarragon and hot sauce, then returning them to the grill so the butter melts into little pools in the shells.
Scallops make incredibly juicy burgers despite their low fat content. Marcia Kiesel adds corn to her scallop burgers for a bit of sweetness and crunch. To keep the burgers moist, don’t overcook them; there should be a thin layer of barely cooked scallop at the center.
“You can't get lazier than this,” says Marcia Kiesel, who simply puts clams on the hot grill and waits a minute or two for them to open and start sizzling. Then she takes them off the heat and tops them with a spicy sauce spiked with horseradish and Tabasco.
“Shrimp come from all over the world, but I think the kind from coastal Georgia and the Gulf is the best—and it’s pretty much a sustainable product,” says Hugh Acheson. Here, he prepares the shrimp as a light appetizer with green apple, charred scallions, smoked paprika and sesame seeds.
“I try to use seafood that’s from the bottom of the food chain, like squid, prawns and clams. It’s cheaper and tastier,” says chef Travis Lett. “That’s why we’ll always have grilled squid on the menu.”
To go with grilled scallops, Marcia Kiesel creates her own version of salsa verde by combining sweet honeydew and buttery avocado in a fruit salsa (yes, avocado is a fruit). The salsa is what wine geeks call “round in flavor,” meaning it’s not too tart or tangy, and it would be excellent with an equally “round” oaked California Chardonnay.
Michael Psilakis uses a grilled, sliced scallop as the “bread” in his playful version of a finger sandwich, filled with plums, prosciutto and pea tendrils and topped with Greek yogurt. He says, “It’s English high tea meets crazy Greek chef.”
To cook this seafood-and-chorizo paella, Pete Evans uses his grill as both a stovetop and an oven, simultaneously using direct and indirect heat. We've replaced his whole crab with jumbo lump crabmeat for simplicity’s sake.
“I love mixing miso and butter together,” says Jamie Bissonnette. “If you spread that miso-flavored butter on toast, people always love it and ask, ‘What is this?’” Bissonnette also transforms the butter into a sauce for grilled shrimp. Pickled mustard seeds, scooped out from the brine in a pickle jar, add tang and crunch.
When Mario Batali and his friends arrived at Cambados, a coastal village in Galicia, they were put to work harvesting clams. Later at the Vionta Winery, just outside Cambados, Mario built a fire from dried grapevines and corncobs—“for a bit of sweetness”—and grilled lobsters and navajas (razor clams).