Grilled Shrimp with Black Eyed Peas and Citrus-Chile Vinaigrette

Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.

Suggested Use:
Anchos are great in salsa, soups, enchilada and any sauce needing mild heat and chile flavor. Chopped, pureed or ground, they can be added directly to your recipes.

Heat Scale
Submit Recipe


Black Eyed Peas:
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 fresh green chile, halved
1 pound dried black eyed peas
2 (4-oz) smoked ham hocks
2 bay leaves
2 quarts water
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 vine-ripe tomato, seeded and chopped
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1 orange, zested and juiced
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3 pounds extra large shrimp, peeled and butterflied
2 tablespoons Ancho Chili Powder (recipe follows)
1/2 lime, juiced
2 large handfuls fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bunch green onions, white and green parts, choppped
3 vine-ripe tomatos, chopped
1 jalepeno, thinly sliced

To prepare the black eyed peas: place a 2-gallon stock pot over medium heat. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and add the garlic and green chile, saute until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the black eyed peas, ham hocks, bay leaves, and water. Simmer for 45 minutes until the beans are tender, stirring when you think about it. Wait until halfway through cooking to begin seasoning with salt and pepper. You want the flesh of the bean to break down a little bit so it can penetrate the inside. Drain the black eyed peas and shred the ham hocks. Set them aside to cool.

To prepare the vinaigrette: puree the tomato, chipotle, sugar, citrus juices, and zest in a blender until smooth. Pour in 1/4 cup of olive oil and puree again until emulsified and slightly thickened.

To prepare the shrimp: put the butterflied shrimp in a glass bowl and add the ancho powder, lime juice, half of the cilantro, and a drizzle of olive oil tossing to coat. Marinate for 15 minutes while heating up the grill. Place a large grill pan on 2 burners over medium-high heat or preheat an outdoor gas or charcoal barbecue and get it very hot. Brush the grates with oil to keep the shrimp from sticking. Remove the shrimp from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Lay the shrimp on the hot grill and cook 4 minutes on each side until charred and firm.

To serve: combine the black eyed peas, shredded ham hock meat, green onions, tomatoes, jalapeno, and the remaining cilantro in a large salad bowl. Add the grilled shrimp and vinaigrette. Toss the salad well to incorporate all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

Ancho Chili Powder:
3 ancho chiles, seeded and hand-torn into pieces
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/4 ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar

This homemade chili powder will add a smoky depth to chili and as a dry rub for steaks. Toast the ancho chile pieces over low heat in a dry skillet until fragrant, shaking the pan so they don’t scorch. Put the chiles in a mini food processor and pulse to a powder. Add the remaining ingredients and buzz again to combine.
Yield: about 1 cup

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence and the Food Network.