Grilled Shrimp with Garlic-Red Chile-Thyme Marinade

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.

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2 ancho chiles
1 New Mexican red chile
1 pasilla chile
1 head garlic, cloves separated, peeled, and coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing on shrimp
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 pounds shrimp or prawns, head and shell on


Place the chiles in a large bowl and cover them with boiling water. Let the chiles stand for 1 hour to soften. Remove the chiles from the water and coarsely chop. Place the chiles in the jar of a blender. Add the garlic, thyme and oil and blend until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Place the shrimp in a large bowl and pour the marinade over them. Let the shrimp marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Preheat a grill to high. Remove the prawns from the marinade and grill them for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes per side, with the grill cover closed. Serve with warm tortillas and your choice of garnishes.

Yields 8 servings.

Recipe by Bobby Flay.