Shrimp with Mole Poblano

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 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups mole poblano

For the Mole Poblano:
2 ancho chiles, seeded
2 mulato chiles, seeded
1 pasilla chile, seeded
2 plum tomatoes
2 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 (14-oz) can fat-free less sodium chicken broth
Cooking spray
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 soft black plantain, cut into 1/4-inch sliced
1/4 cup sliced almonds
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 1/4 cups water, divided
2 oz dark chocolate, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh lime juie
3/4 tsp salt


For the Mole Poblano:
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ancho, mulato, and pasilla chiles cook 1 minute on each side. Place chiles in a medium bowl and cover with hot water. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes, then drain.

While chiles soak in hot water, place tomatoes in pan, and cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan. Add tortillas to pan, and cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until browned. Place drained chiles, tomatoes, tortillas, and broth in a blender. Process until smooth.

Heat pan over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray. Add chopped onion, and sauté for 3 minutes. Add plantain, and sauté for 3 minutes or until browned. Add almonds and garlic, and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in unsweetened cocoa, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves. Sauté 15 seconds. Place onion mixture and 1/4 cup water in blender with chile mixture, and process until smooth.

Place chile mixture, 1 cup water, and chocolate in pan. Cook over medium heat, partially covered, 18 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in lime juice and salt.

Makes 4 cups.

For the Shrimp:

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.

Pat shrimp dry with paper towels. Combine shrimp, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Thread the shrimp onto 6 (8-inch) skewers. Place skewers on grill pan and cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Serve with Mole Poblano.

Makes 6 servings.

By David Bonom, Cooking Light, JANUARY 2005.