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Chile Garlic Shrimp

June 18, 2012

I love shrimp and grits.  It’s one of my most favorite things to order just about every single time I go to a restaurant that serves southern food.

When we came home from our 10-day trip to the Midwest a couple weeks ago, there was hardly anything in the fridge and after eating out so much, the last thing we wanted to do was go to a restaurant.  Eventually the unavoidable “What do you want to do for dinner?” “I don’t know, what do you want to do for dinner?” conversation started up and we decided to go with shrimp and grits.  Really, I just wanted to spend some time in my own kitchen (yes, it’s tiny but it has everything that I need and I know exactly where everything is!), listening to music with the dog curled up at my feet in the middle of everything.

We had some frozen Gulf shrimp, and when we were peeling them we decided to pull off the tails.  When you go to a restaurant, I can’t stand how they serve shrimp with the tails on, and then you either get your fingers all dirty or awkwardly try to use your knife and fork to pry the meat out of the tail.  I know they look nicer with the tails on, but really, it’s just a pain in the butt.  If I ever have my own restaurant, I know exactly how I’ll serve my shrimp!

The shrimp turned out smokey with just a hint of spice and tons of flavor.  I served them with tomatillo cheddar grits, which I’ll post in a couple days.  After the amazing carnitas we made and perusing my friend’s copy of The Homesick Texan cookbook, we decided to buy our own copy.  Well, this cookbook strikes again, and it is rapidly becoming our go-to with so many yummy, easy-to-make recipes!

Spicy Chile Shrimp
From The Homesick Texan cookbook

I used dried ancho chiles rather than dried pasilla chiles, since that’s what we had in the cupboard.  Other than that, I didn’t change the recipe much at all.  Another awesome thing about this recipe is that you make shrimp stock.  I used the left-over shrimp stock in the grits, which was an awesome decision!

2 dried pasilla or ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
2 lbs large shrimp, heads removed
1/2 c  cilantro
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 tbsp lime juice
4 tbsp unsalted butter

In a dry skillet (not a non-stick skillet) heated on high, toast the chiles on each side for about 10 seconds or until they start to puff.  Fill the skillet with enough water to cover cover chiles.  Leave the heat on until the water begins to boil, and then turn the heat off and leave the chiles in the water until they are soft (about 30 minutes).

In the meantime, remove the shells and tails from the shrimp and place the shells/tails in a pot.  Add 4 cups of water, 1/2 tsp salt and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes.  Pour the liquid and shells/tails through a sieve to separate the two so that you have shrimp stock (i.e. the liquid).

Rinse the rehydrated chiles and discard the soaking water. Put the chiles, cilantro, garlic, cumin, cayenne, lime juice, and 1 cup of the shrimp stock in a blender and puree until smooth.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium-low heat.  Add the chile puree and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the butter and 2 tablespoons of shrimp stock.  When the butter has melted, add the shrimp with salt and pepper (to taste).  Cook the shrimp for about 3 minutes on each side, or until pink.  Remove shrimp and drizzle the chile butter sauce on top.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 20, 2012 10:03 pm

    I love spicy shrimp and this sounds like a great dish.


  1. Tomatillo Cheddar Grits « Just Eat It

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