This week’s Prickly Pair podcast hosts Alexandra Pere and Nicole Feltman dropped by D’s Island Grill, 3156 E. Fort Lowell Road, and walked away with a stellar summer recipe.
D’s Island Grill is a Tucson family business run by chef Dwayne Hall. It combines traditional Jamaican dishes with southwestern flavors. Hall told the Prickly Pair podcast that these cross-cultural menu items give new customers a more affordable option on the menu if they’ve never tried Jamaican food before.
“They could always start with chicken jerky tacos, beef jerky tacos, or chicken quesadillas,” Hall said. “It’s small, but it has a lot of flavor. They can break that barrier, like, “If this taco tastes like this, I wonder what chicken jerky or oxtail tastes like.” And then they become bolder.”
The owners, Pere and Feltman, were lucky enough to taste the shrimp glazed with Hall’s tequila. Although Hall’s family recipes are trade secrets, Hall was willing to share his quick and easy Jerk Shrimp recipe.
A traditional Jamaican style of cooking meat or seafood, jerk is a paste or marinade that combines seasonings including scallions, onions, salt, thyme, black pepper, paprika and all-purpose seasonings, among many other spices. When the meat is cooked, it is usually smoked or cooked for long hours in a skillet or wood fire to give it a delicious unique taste.
Hall uses this cooking method with the shrimp recipe and adds a dash of tequila to incorporate the Southwestern flavor that Tucson has to offer.
The heat of Jerk Tequila Shrimp pairs perfectly with Hall’s refreshing watermelon splash, a mix of watermelon juice and ginger beer.
Visit D’s Island Grill this summer for an unforgettable meal. They are open Monday to Thursday from 11:00 to 20:00 and Friday to Saturday from 11:00 to 21:00.
Be sure to check out Hall’s interview on the Prickly Pair podcast, linked at the top of this article and available on all streaming platforms. Listeners, don’t forget to tag hosts Pere and Feltman on Instagram @pricklypairpodcast when you try the recipe!
Jerk Tequila Glaze Shrimp by Duwayne Hall from D’s Island Grill (10 to 15 minutes)
1 lb shrimp, peeled and trimmed, seasoned with paprika, black pepper and all-purpose seasonings.
1 teaspoon salt and salt to taste.
Jerk Sauce (Jerk can be purchased at D’s Island Grill)
Place the saucepan over medium heat. Fry shrimp until half cooked. Shrimp cook very quickly, so keep an eye on the pan. Glaze the pan with tequila and then with a little water. Expect flames to rise from the pot, be careful! After the tequila has burned or the flames have dissipated, add the jerky sauce and butter (your choice). Reduce heat to low and simmer for a few minutes. Serve with vegetables of your choice, fried bananas, coconut rice, or on its own.