Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chile-rubbed shrimp with avocado, corn, and black bean salsa

Summer: one of my three favorite food seasons. Central Market has sweet corn four ears for a dollar, avocados are only 69 cents apiece and I've got cherry tomatoes a-plenty from my garden. Unfortunately that's about the only garden success I can speak to at the moment, but that's beside the point.

Take my advice and peruse the grilling section at There are so many great recipes to try, from the normal every day barbecued chicken and ribs to more interesting things like grilled peaches with prosciutto and pecorino (one of my favorites) and Cuban-style burgers (next on the list). I've found a lot of inspiration there lately.

This could easily be a no-stove dinner, but it was getting late and I didn't want to bother firing up the grill for cooking one ear of corn and 3 minutes of shrimp. A skillet works just fine, so it's still a one-pot success. Not to mention healthy as all get-out (providing you can control yourself around tortilla chips) and super quick to pull together. This salsa would be good on about a billion things - in burritos or on tacos, over fish, with quesadillas or nachos, or just a big ol' bowl of chips.

a cup or so of cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
3 scallions, finely sliced
1 large avocado, diced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 ear of corn, toasted (you can either do this on the grill by leaving the corn in its husk and grilling for half an hour or so, or zip the kernels off with a knife and do it in a non-stick pan for a few minutes. As a tip, if you go with the pan method, put a kitchen towel under the ear first - it'll stop the corn from bouncing everywhere)
some kind of spicy chili (I used half a Thai chili since I used all my jalapenos for our Father's Day taco feast)
juice of 2 or 3 limes
handful of cilantro, minced

1 tbsp chile powder (the recipe suggested ancho, I used chipotle which was a bit too spicy for Allan)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano, preferably Mexican
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
20 large shrimp, peeled (... we like shrimp.)

Combine all the spices for your rub in a bowl. Season your shrimp with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, toss them in the bowl and coat thoroughly with the rub, and set aside.

In another bowl, combine all of the ingredients for your salsa (allow the corn to cool completely first). Season liberally with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste on a tortilla chip or five, and adjust salt, lime, and heat levels accordingly.

Heat your grill or skillet on high (I used the same one I toasted the corn in) with a drizzle or spray of olive oil and cook your shrimp for a minute or two on each side, until pink and opaque. Arrange shrimp atop a massive pile of salsa on each plate.

Serves 2, takes half an hour at most. Don't forget the chips.