Chile Rubbed Shrimp

The Gourmet Review

I’ve never quite understood the appeal of the traditional shrimp cooktail. I mean, what could be less interesting than cold boiled shrimp dipped in a lackluster mixture of ketchup and prepared horseradish. Here’s a shrimp cocktail with gumption, featuring chile-rubbed, grill-seared shrimp served over a colorful, chunky salsa of avocado and sweet corn. You can chill the grilled shrimp before you serve them, but I like the contrast of hot shrimp and cool salsa.

                                                                                                             – Epicurious

INGREDIENTS

16 jumbo shrimp (about 1½ pounds), peeled and deveined

1 tablespoon ancho chile powder

1½ teaspoons garlic salt

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

PREPARATION

Rinse the shrimp under cold running water. Blot them dry with paper towels.
 
Place the chile powder, garlic salt, coriander, oregano, cumin, and pepper in a mixing bowl and whisk to mix. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Stir in the olive oil. Let the shrimp marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
 
Cook the shrimp. Following the instructions below for any of the grills, until just cooked through. When cooked,  the shrimp will turn pinkish white and will feel firm to the touch.

PRESENTATION

If you want to serve as a salad or main course, place the grilled shrimp on the salsa.

Or, spoon the Avocado and Corn Salsa into 4 large martini glasses or serving bowls. Drape 4 of the hot shrimp over the edge of each glass or bowl and serve at once. Or, for a cold shrimp cocktail, let the cooked shrimp cool to room temperature. Refrigerate the shrimp, covered, until they are chilled, before serving them with the salsa. The cooked shrimp can be refrigenered for up to 2 days.

 NOTES

BARBECUE GRILL: Preheat the grill. If your grill has a temperature control, preheat the grill to high. Place the drip pan under the front of the grill (optional). When ready to cook, lightly oil the grill surface. Place the marinated shrimp on the hot grill, then close the lid. The shrimp will be done after cooking 1 to 2 minutes.

GRILL PAN: Place the grill pan on the stove and preheat it to high  heat. When the grill pan is hot, a drop of water will skitter in the pan. When ready to cook, lightly oil the ridged of the grill pan. Place the marinated shrimp in the hot grill pan. They will be done after cooking 1 to 3 minutes per side.

AVOCADO AND CORN SALSA 

A salsa this simple lives or dies by the quality of the ingredients – ripe avocado, luscious tomato and a sweet, crunchy ear of com. Most corn salsa recipes call for grilled corn. This one features the succulent crunch of raw corn to reinforce the sweetness of the fresh avocado.

 INGREDIENTS

1 ripe avocado, cut into ¼-inch dice

2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 ripe red tomato, seeded and diced ¼-inch

1 husk fresh sweet corn, shucked

1 scallion, both white and green parts, trimmed and finely chopped, or 3 tablespoons diced sweet onion

1 to 2 jalapeno peppers or serrano peppers, seeded and minced (for hotter salsa, leave the seeds in)

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION

Place the avocado in the bottom of a nonreactive mixing bowl and gently toss with 2 tablespoons of the lime juice. Spoon the tomato on top of the avocado.
 
Cut the kernels off the corn. The easiest way to do this is place the end of the corn flat on a cutting board and remove the kernels using lengthwise strokes of a sharp knife  kernels. Place kernels in the mixing bowl. The salsa can be prepared to this stage up to 2 days in advance if kept covered.
 
Just before serving, add the jalapeno and cilantro to the mixing bowl and gently loss to mix. Taste for seasoning, adding more lime juice, as necessary, and season with salt and pepper to taste. The salsa should be highly seasoned.

NOTE

To determine the ripeness of an avocado, give it the “Charmin test”; the flesh should be gently yielding when the sides are squeezed.

This has been one of my all time favorite recipes since I first saw Steven Workman’s comments and recipe in 2004!

– The Gourmet Review

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