Perhaps it’s obvious by now, but boy do I love Mexican food. I’m not talking about the cheese-smothered, high-fat Americanized version (though every so often who doesn’t need a queso fix), I mean fresh, flavorful REAL Mexican. I’m no purist – I don’t make my own tortillas or smoke my own jalapeños for chipotles. But I do believe in using fresh herbs, spices and ingredients, and trying to keep things authentic. Speaking of authentic Mexican food, here’s a post I did on the best guacamole while helping out a friend in Mexico
I recently tried a recipe from Bon Appetit magazine that I just loved! Shrimp in Adobo was super fast, extremely flavorful and very low in fat, always a plus. The adobo – a thick, dark sauce made with vinegar – would be good with more than just shrimp too. I served the shrimp in whole wheat tortillas with refried beans and feta (a good substitute for queso fresco) and a salad with radishes, cilantro and a lime vinaigrette.
The only tricky part is toasting the chiles in advance. I found my dried ancho chiles at K&S World Market, but I think you could probably find these in most large grocery stores today. When you’re toasting them, you do so in a hot, dry skillet (recipe called for cast iron but I just used a heavy bottom saute pan). Pinch off the stems, then toss in the chiles, turning and lightly pressing down a few times. They’re done in literally just a minute, and be careful not to overcook. I left two on just a bit too long, and after they cooled, they smelled burnt, instead of toasted, so I tossed those. Perhaps plan to toast a few extras, just in case they burn. The rest is self explanatory. Note: The chiles below aren’t burnt, just really black, which is how they come.
Check out how dark, and intense the sauce gets from the chiles. Keep in mind this comes together with just a couple of ingredients. The color makes it look like there’d be more! Note: I only had about half as much shrimp as the recipe called for, so if you do make this, the shrimp won’t be swimming in this much sauce.
The shrimp cook in really just about 4 minutes. I let mine go for 5 just to make sure the sauce was cooked through since it had the shrimp marinating in it.
Shrimp In Adobo
Yield: 4 servings
This would be great with chicken or pork, or go vegetarian and use canned chickpeas or portobellos! It's basically an all-around easy sauce that's super flavorful.
6 dried ancho chiles, stemmed
4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (I didn't have any so used pomegranate balsamic and white vinegar)
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sugar
2 lb small or medium uncooked shrimp, preferable wile American, peeled, deveined, cut into 1/4" pieces
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. After removing stems, toast at least 6 dried chiles (consider tossing in a few more in case you over toast the first ones!), for about 1 minute, until chiles begin to puff up and blister. Set chiles aside to cool.
Cut chiles into rings over a small bowl, reserving seeds. Pour 1/2 cup hot water over the rings and let rehydrate for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a blender, toss next six ingredients into a blender. Add in chiles with their soaking liquids and the reserved seeds. Blend well.
Toss shrimp in adobo, then spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil for 4-5 minutes, stirring once. Shrimp will cook fast, so look alive!
Serve in tortillas, over salad, or plain with rice. Enjoy!
Bon Appetit magazine, June 2012