Serves 4 to 6

1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce (available in the Asian section of many supermarkets and in specialty food stores. Koon Chun brand is especially reliable)
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine, or dry sherry, or dry white wine

2 pounds extra large shrimp (11 to 15 per pound), not shelled, but with legs removed, rinsed and patted dry
Oil for the grill
2 whole scallions, thin sliced (optional garnish)

1. You could mince and blend all the marinade ingredients in a food processor, or merely blend them in a medium bowl. Add the shrimp and gently toss to coat with the seasonings. Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, start the grill. If using wood charcoal, let it burn down until the coals are covered with grey ash. On a gas grill, you want the heat at medium to medium-high.

3. To grill the shrimp, brush the grill grate with oil to keep the shrimp from sticking. Lay the shrimp on their sides, about an inch apart, over the hottest part of the fire. Quickly brush them with any marinade left in the bowl and count to 30. Turn them right away with tongs as you move them away from the highest heat.

4. Finish cooking the shrimp over medium to medium-low until they turn pink and are barely firm, about 3 minutes. Do not overcook. Immediately remove to a platter. If you'd like, scatter the sliced scallions over the shrimp.

• Shrimp from United States and British Columbia waters are generally preferred from both a sustainability and quality standpoint. As a general rule, follow the recommendations of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program ( The Program is the gold standard to go by when purchasing any seafood.

• Check out for a list of Certified Wild American Shrimp. Some of the brands of frozen shrimp to look for in supermarkets are Arista, Caught Fresh, Dominick Frozen Shrimp, Emeril's Louisiana Shrimp, Sea Pearl, and SeaPak Shrimp Company.

• For the marinade you want the dark, fragrant, Asian sesame oil that is used as a flavoring, not the lighter one that is used for sautéing and for things like salad dressings.

I happened onto some gorgeous raspberries last week that inspired me to pull the recipe for a favorite summer dessert from my files. It's the kind of lush, creamy, intense concoction that has friends making vaguely obscene sounds at the dinner table. It's like frozen custard, it's utterly delicious, and just what I want to eat and serve my guests on a warm summer night. It's worth every bit of the effort to make.