Skewers of Shrimp on the Barbie with pancetta and grilled lemons.

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Shrimp on the Barbie sounds like an Australian dinner to me so as we planned our trip “down under” I planned to post recipes from Australia. It’s true, they really do like to cook shrimp and they do it on a barbie.

A quick YouTube search took me to Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube where he was cooking up shrimp with the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background. Perfect I thought!

Jamie Oliver skewered shrimp and cubes of ciabatta bread wrapped in pancetta. His used

I used bamboo skewers rather than long stalks of fresh rosemary but the flavoured oil, pancetta and grilled lemon halves were a winning combination. This simple recipe is perfect to kick off the summer barbecue season.

A platter with skewers of Gluten Free Shrimp on the Barbie.
Gluten Free Shrimp on the Barbie -photo credit Jim Little

Gluten Free Bread Cubes

Jamie Oliver us For my Shrimp on the Barbie I needed a gluten free bread that would hold up to the barbecue. Of course I could just skip the bread but that would be the easy way out and I wanted something a little special. Aussie food was my challenge for July and I was doing it right.

I think my rustic loaf of crusty bread would work in this recipe but I didn’t want to bake. I bought Udi’s gluten free whole grain seeded dinner rolls and cut each bun into twelve pieces. They held up to the heat and absorbed flavour from the pancetta as well as from the olive oil I brushed on the skewers.

Buying Shrimp

I love having a bag of shrimp in the freezer. There are so many ways to cook shrimp and it just adds variety to your menu by having them in the freezer. Most often I like fairly big shrimp, ‘go big or go home’ I say. I used 16/20 count shrimp, that’s the number of shrimp per pound so the higher the number the smaller the shrimp.

Pancetta vs Prosciutto

Pancetta, an Italian version of bacon, is salt-cured but not smoked. Prosciutto is made from a different cut of pork but it is also salt-cured and not smoked. Although my recipe calls for pancetta if you can’t find it prosciutto would be a good substitute. The taste will be a bit different but equally delicious. Bacon would give the dish a very different taste.

Sliced, pre-packaged pancetta and prosciutto both seem readily available in well-stocked grocery stores and Italian specialty shops. Packages with a gluten free label also seem pretty easy to find.

Grilled Lemons

Grilling fresh lemons is a fin al touch worth doing. It adds a charred taste and the warm lemons yield more juice than you would have thought possible. Be very careful when squeezing the juice over the skewers, it’s hot!

Whether you have a reason to celebrate Australia or you just feel like cooking Shrimp on the Barbie give this recipe a try. If I get a chance I’ll be making these on a beach somewhere in the land down under.


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Ingredients

36 large shrimp (16-20 count)
36 thin slices of pancetta
36 GF bread cubes, I used 3 Udi’s Whole Grain seeded dinner rolls
2 lemons, halved
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 large cloves of garlic, smashed
salt and pepper
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Directions

1
In a small bowl combine the oil, garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary. Set aside.
2
Thread pancetta-wrapped shrimp and bread cubes (pancetta-wrapped or not) onto a metal skewer alternating until you have 3 of each on the skewer. Place assembled skewers on a tray.
3
Preheat the barbecue. Generously brush the oil mixture over both sides of the skewers and the cut sides of each lemon half.
4
Grill skewers until shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Grill lemons until they are charred. Place skewers on a platter. Top with lemon halves and allow to cool slightly.
5
Squeeze warm lemons over skewers at the table.

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Ingredients

Directions

  • 36 large shrimp (16-20 count)
  • 36 thin slices of pancetta
  • 36 GF bread cubes, I used 3 Udi’s Whole Grain seeded dinner rolls
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, smashed
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  1. In a small bowl combine the oil, garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary. Set aside.
  2. Thread pancetta-wrapped shrimp and bread cubes (pancetta-wrapped or not) onto a metal skewer alternating until you have 3 of each on the skewer. Place assembled skewers on a tray.
  3. Preheat the barbecue. Generously brush the oil mixture over both sides of the skewers and the cut sides of each lemon half.
  4. Grill skewers until shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Grill lemons until they are charred. Place skewers on a platter. Top with lemon halves and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Squeeze warm lemons over skewers at the table.