Shrimp on the grill are extraordinary; as the shell and flesh brown, they pick up wonderfully sweet additional flavors
1 large bunch of fresh cilantro
8 medium-large chopped scallions
2 green chiles (the heat is up to you)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
pinch of turmeric
3 pounds large shrimp (about 48)
freshly ground black pepper
good chile powder (like ancho chile powder)
1. In a blender or a food processor place the cilantro leaves and stems, scallions, chiles, garlic, lime juice, cumin, and turmeric. Purée, adding a little water if necessary to achieve the desired consistency.
2. Peel the shrimp, leaving the tail intact. Devein them. Place them in a bowl, and toss with the cilantro purée. Marinate for 8 to 12 hours.
3. Prepare a moderately hot charcoal fire. When ready to cook, scoop up the shrimp so that more of the marinade remains on one side of each one. Place the shrimp marinade side up on the grill. Cook until almost done, about 2 minutes. Turn shrimp over and cook quickly on marinade side, about 1 minute. Remove shrimp from grill.
4. Divide shrimp among serving plates. Pass garnishes at table. Each guest should sprinkle the shrimp with coarse salt, pepper, chile powder, a squeeze of lime juice and a few cilantro leaves.
Shrimp on the grill are extraordinary; as the shell and flesh brown, they pick up wonderfully sweet additional flavors. In this recipe, partially peeled shrimp are used so that both flesh and shell contribute. And shrimp are magnificent with the lime-and-cilantro flavors of Mexican food. Serves 6 to 8 as a first course