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Chimayo-Marinated Shrimp

By Leslie Chavez From Moveable Feast Season 5, Ep.9

Servings: 6 to 8 as a starter

Marinated in lime, garlic, and chilies then kissed by the smoke of the grill and the bacon this shrimp sings with flavor.


For the chile-honey sauce

  • 2 large dried Ancho chiles (about 1 oz.), seeded
  • 1 small white onion, coarsely chopped, (about 1 cup)
  • 7 medium cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped cilantro stems
  • Kosher salt
  • Juice and zest of one small lime; more juice to taste

For the shrimp

  • 9 slices thick-cut bacon, cut in half crosswise, at room temperature
  • 18 extra-jumbo shrimp (16-20 per lb.), peeled, deveined, and tails removed
  • 6 12-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 1 packed cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup olive oil; more for the grill
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Juice and zest of one small lime; more juice t taste
  • 2 thinly sliced scallions (about 1/4 cup), for garnish


Make the sauce

  • Toast the chiles in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat, turning occasionally until they begin to char, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium pot bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Transfer the toasted chiles to the water and steep, uncovered for 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chiles from the water, and reserve 3 Tbs. of the water. Cut the chiles in half lengthwise, and scrape out the flesh with the back of a knife. Discard the skins.
  • In a blender, combine the scraped flesh from the chiles, the onion, garlic, honey, cilantro, 1/2 tsp. salt, and the lime juice and zest. Puree until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed, and adding some of the reserved chile water 1 Tbs. at a time if needed to loosen just enough to blend. Season to taste with salt and lime juice.

Make the shrimp

  • Using the heel of your hand, press and stretch the bacon pieces to flatten and to about twice their original length and width. Wrap a slice of bacon around each piece of shrimp by starting at the tail section and overlapping the bacon slightly while continuing to wrap to the head-end. Thread 3 shrimp onto each skewer.
  • In a blender, combine the cilantro, with 1/2 cup of the chile-honey sauce, the oil, garlic, and lime juice and zest. Puree until almost smooth, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Season to taste with salt and lime juice. Put half of the marinade onto a large rimmed baking sheet, lay the skewered shrimp on top, then pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to overnight.
  • Prepare a gas or charcoal grill to medium heat (350°F to 375°F.) Oil the grill. Remove the shrimp from the marinade (discarding the marinade) and arrange on the grill. Grill the shrimp, turning occasionally to avoid flair-ups, until the bacon is charred and the shrimp are cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes total.
  • Transfer the skewered shrimp to a platter, drizzle lightly with some of the remaining sauce, and garnish with the scallions. Serve, passing the remaining sauce at the table.
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