Southwest Shrimp Tacos

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.

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10 to 12 (10-inch) wooden skewers
2 lb unpeeled, large raw shrimp (21/25 count)
Vegetable Cooking Spray
2 Tbsp hot sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp ancho chile powder*
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp salt
16 to 20 (8-inch) soft taco-size corn or flour tortillas
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup grated carrot
Lime wedges


Soak skewers in water 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel shrimp and devein. Coat cold cooking grate of grill with cooking spray, and place on grill. Preheat grill to 350 to 400 degrees (medium-high heat).

Toss shrimp with hot sauce and next 4 ingredients. Thread shrimp onto skewers. Grill shrimp, covered with grill lid, 1 to 2 minutes on each side or just until shrimp turn pink. Grill tortillas 1 minute on each side or until warmed.

Combine cabbage and carrots. Remove shrimp from skewers just before serving. Serve shrimp in warm tortillas with cabbage mixture and lime wedges.

Serves 8.

Recipe from Southern Living.

*Directions to make ancho chile powder:
Remove the stems from as many anchos as you would like to make chili powder from. Do not remove seeds, just the membrane that holds them. It ahould all come out with a good pull.

Cut the peppers into chunks about 1/2 inch square. Toss them in a spice grinder (in batches) or blender and give them a few really good spins. You will probably notice at this point that “dried” does not mean “completely dehydrated.” If your peppers are still a little sticky, it’s time to employ a little thermal persuasion.
If you’ve ended up with a paste, persuade it out of your grinder of choice and employ one of the following methods (be sure to wash out the grinder thoroughly and let dry.):
1. Take your pepper paste and place it on a parchment lined baking sheet in as thin a layer as possible. Place in the oven at the lowest temperature possible and allow to hang out for at least an hour. This should rid you of whatever left over moisture is keeping you from spice perfection. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temp.
2. Take the paste and place in a heavy bottomed skillet over extremely low heat. Toss constantly until peppers begin to smoke. (about 3 minutes.) Remove from heat and allow to cool before continuing.
Return peppers to grinder and spin until there’s nothing left but a semi-fine to fine powder.(Chile Powder directions from