Butterflied Shrimp with Habanero Tomatillo Salsa

This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors(yellow, orange,green, red,chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique,distinctively fruity flavor.

It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.

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1 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. lime juice
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 habanero pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1 tomatillo, finely chopped


1 pound large shrimp
1 Tbsp. lime juice
2 tsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
dash of salt
cooking spray


Prepare grill.

To prepare salsa:

Combine the first 6 ingredients and stir them well with a whisk. Stir in the onion, habanero and tomatillo. Cover the mixture and let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

To prepare shrimp:

Peel the shrimp, leaving the tails intact. Starting at the tail end, butterfly each shrimp, cutting to, but not through, the underside of the shrimp. Combine 1 Tbsp. of the lime juice, 2 tsp. of oil, the garlic and a dash of salt in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and toss well. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Place the shrimp, cut sides down, on a grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill for 5 minutes or until the shrimp are done, turning once. Serve with the salsa.

Yields 4 servings.

Recipe from Cooking Light Magazine, March 2003.