Ok, I have a confession to make. One of my first cookbooks I even owned and brought was Bobby's Flay Mesa Grill. I remember watching Bobby on the Food Network with Boy Meets Grill and loved the flavor profiles he cooked with. All the chile's, tomatillos, spices--very bold in your face type seasonings. I loved it! This recipe is me stepping back to when I first discovered my love for cooking. My first time buying dried ancho chiles and rehydrating them. My first time cooking and growing as a cook. Learning to appreciate everything and hone in on the craft. These Red Chile Shrimp With Pineapple Salsa is a tasty bite of goodness and bold delicious flavors!
Recently I got back from being home and spending time with my parents and family. A much needed time away and mini vacation. No set alarm clocks, coffee made when waking up, no complaints coming from me! One thing I was eager to do was to go to the Westwego Fishermans Market and pick up some shrimp to take back to Dallas. Going from stall to stall, I finally found the one with the perfect size, a nice jumbo size shrimp that I've been dreaming of grilling up.
For this recipe, I made a marinade that is versatile with just about any protein. Slather it on pork, lamb, beef, or chicken--you can do no wrong. I love the flavors of the Yucatan, the spices they use for Cochonita Pibil, which consist of annatto (achiote seeds), chiles, clove, orange, and allspice. The flavor profile for this marinade has an earthy, pungent, sweet and smokiness to it. It creates a nice crust from chiles and brown sugar.
The shrimp is paired with a simple straightforward pineapple salsa. The sweetness and spiciness pairs wonderfully with the flavor of the shrimp. I had big jumbo shrimp on hand, but small shrimp can be used as well. The marinade is pasty and not loose. So, just slather it on and let it sit for a while to penetrate.
Red Chile Shrimp With Pineapple Salsa
- 1 1/2 cup pineapple diced
- 3 tablespoons jalapeño, diced
- 3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons red onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons olive oil (a drizzle)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- a few cracks of fresh black pepper
Red Chili Marinade Paste
- 22 grams ancho chiles, dried (roughly 2-3 dried)
- 13 grams New Mexico chiles, dried (roughly 2 dried)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 whole cloves
- 4 whole allspice berries
- 1 teaspoon annatto seeds (achiote seeds) (optional)
- juice of one orange
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and devined
Combine pineapple, jalapeno, cilantro, red onion, lime juice, olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper in a bowl and mix until combined.
Over medium-high heat, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. In a bowl place the dried chiles and top with the boiling water, cover with plastic wrap and place aside until hydrated. Once hydrated, puree the chiles with 1/2 cup of the leftover liquid and garlic cloves. Place the pureed chiles in a bowl.
In a blender or spice grinder, finely grind the annatto, clove, and allspice. Place in the bowl with the pureed chiles. Add the orange juice, cinnamon, salt, brown sugar, chipotle powder and blend until combined.
Spread the marinade over the shrimp and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Preheat a grill pan or cast-iron skillet over medium high heat. Cook on each side for about 3-4 minutes until done. Top with pineapple salsa and enjoy!