Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Chile-Smothered Shrimp Skewers

Simply Mexican
by Lourdes Castro
Published by Ten Speed Press

Chile-Smothered Shrimp Skewers
1-1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined 
1/3 cup Red Chile Paste (see recipe below) 
3 tablespoons olive oil 
Salt and black pepper 
2 limes, each cut into 4 wedges 
Cilantro sprigs, for garnish
Start by soaking eight wooden skewers. Thread the shrimp onto the skewers, leaving a small gap between each shrimp, which will allow them to cook evenly. You should be able to fit about four shrimp per skewer.
Place the shrimp skewers in a large, plastic freezer bag and spread the chile paste over the shrimp. Seal the bag,making sure to remove as much air as possible. Work the bag to evenly distribute the paste and rub it onto the shrimp. Place the bag in the refrigerator and allow the shrimp to marinate for 30 minutes.
Remove the shrimp skewers from the freezer bag. Drizzle both sides of the shrimp with 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat a grill to medium-high for 10 minutes or preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Oil the grill pan or grill grates with the remaining oil. Grill the shrimp for 5 minutes on each side.
If sautéing, place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the remaining oil. Add the shrimp skewers and cook for 5 minutes on each side. If the skewers do not fit in a single layer, sauté them in batches.
Spear a lime wedge onto the tip of each skewer. Place the shrimp skewers on a serving platter and top with sprigs of cilantro.
Makes 4 servings.

Red Chile Paste (Mexican Adobo)
4 dried ancho chiles
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled, but excess paper removed
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 bay leaf, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Cut or tear the chiles into flat pieces and remove the seeds and veins. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and roast the chiles on both sides until they begin to release their aroma and soften up a bit, about 1 minute.
Transfer to a blender and fill with boiling water. Allow the chiles to soak for 30 minutes, making sure to keep them submerged under water.
Return the same skillet used to toast the chiles to the stove and place over medium heat. Add the garlic and roast, turning often, until the skin blackens and the garlic begins to smell toasty, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and peel. Set aside.
Pour the water out of the blender jar, leaving behind the rehydrated chiles. Add the garlic along with the cinnamon, bay leaf, cumin, pepper, oregano, salt and vinegar, and purée until smooth.
Transfer to a serving bowl if using right away, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate if storing.
Makes 1 cup.

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