Shrimp and Chocolate? Yes – if its unsweetened chocolate combined with the luscious flavors of Mexico. Here’s an easy and luscious salad that is a perfect entree to share for your Valentine celebration – even if its just for you!
Spicy Cocoa Shrimp Salad –
1 TB Hot Sauce
1/2 Tsp Ancho Chili Powder
½ Tsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
½ Tsp Turmeric
1/2 Tsp Cumin
2 TB Lime Juice
1 TB Lime Zest
2 TB EVOO
½ Tsp Sea Salt
1 LB Large (10 – 16) Shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Cups Shredded Napa Cabbage
1 Cup Shredded Carrots
1 Cup Shredded Red Cabbage
1 Cup Prepared Tomatillo Salsa (I like Frontera)
1 Avocado in Slices
1 Red Pepper, Cut in Strips
1 Jalapeno, cut in thin rings (if desired)
2 Chopped Green Onions
½ Cup Chopped Cilantro
Whisk the hot sauce, chili powder, cocoa, turmeric, cumin, lime juice, evoo
and sea salt together. Place the shrimp in a plastic bag and then drizzle the
mixture on the shrimp. Massage the bag so the shrimp is all coated and then set
aside for 30 minutes.
Remove the shrimp from the bag and discard any remaining marinade. Grill
the shrimp, (on a grill pan or cast iron skillet) until cooked through – about
2 minutes. Toss the napa, carrots and red cabbage together and place on a
platter. Top with the shrimp and slices of avocado, peppers and onions. Drizzle with the
salsa and sprinkle the cilantro over the top.
TWO important things to keep in mind when cooking with chocolate in savory recipes:
Less is more! Just a teaspoon can add the deep rich flavor of unsweetened chocolate. And remember – its only unsweetened chocolate, (sometimes called cocoa powder), that we use in savory dishes. Always start experimenting with a small amount – like a half teaspoon before adding more.
Think of the other ingredients – if you are channeling the flavors of Mexico, as I am here, Mole comes to mind. Sauce-y chicken and turkey dishes are perfect with the addition of unsweetened cocoa powder. Also, try chiles and hearty stews that are made with beans and rice. They can always use the fruity-bitter taste of unsweetened chocolate!