While trying to come up with some new recipes, my friend T creatively challenged me to make Hot Chocolate Shrimp. We knew that we liked chocolate and chocolate with chiles. We love shrimp in many different forms. There are lots of unusual taste combinations in South American cooking and the chocolate and chiles combination is used in mole sauces in México. So why not something similar for shrimp? I checked and this had been done before and as a main course even. I gave it a try and had some brave friends try it as well to rave reviews.
For me, I think this works best as an appetizer. A few chocolate coated shrimp on a plate garnished with orange or lime slices.
Since Valentine's Day is coming up, why not surprise your favourite person with this interesting combination?
Valentina's Hot Chocolate Shrimp
Adapted from a recipe by Chef Jim Shirley
16 jumbo shrimp (about 300 g or 10 oz), peeled, deveined and butterflied
45 mL (3 Tbsp) cornstarch
125 mL (½ cup) vegetable oil
45 mL (3 Tbsp) freshly ginger, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 chile pepper (Jalapeño, Habanero, Serrano, or other hot pepper), thinly sliced*
30 g (2 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
30 mL (2 Tbsp) Tequila reposada
Juice of 1 orange
Heat oil in a skillet, add ginger, garlic and chile; sauté for 3 minutes, remove from heat and let stand for about 10 minutes. Strain solids and set aside.
Melt chocolate over double boiler (or in microwave). Stir in orange juice and tequila. Set aside. Reheat oil in large skillet. Coat shrimp in cornstarch and sauté in batches until opaque and lightly browned.
Dip shrimp in chocolate sauce. Serve hot or cold.
*Adjust amount of chile depending on the type used and personal taste.