One of the disadvantages-that-isn’t of living in New Mexico is that, with year-round access to a freezer full of Hatch green chiles, pretty much every other chile gets neglected. In the first three years after we moved here, I didn’t cook with poblanos, serranos, anaheims, or even chipotle chiles. Hatch green (and, not as often, red) chile was the focus.
This year we spent four hours peeling, seeding, chopping, and freezing Hatch green chiles only to realize afterward that this batch was a dud, with no flavor at all. It’s unfortunate, but our pizzas, burgers, and beans have all been disappointing since we’ve started rationing out last year’s far superior chiles. We’re impatient for next year’s harvest, but we’ve got five months to go.
The upside is a resurgence of alternate chiles in our kitchen. Last week I made some smoky guacamole with roasted red peppers and poblanos, and chipotles are no longer languishing in the back of the freezer, forgotten. This recipe is a significant contribution to the disappearing chipotles, because any dish that takes twenty minutes to deliver a healthy bowl of spicy sauce and shellfish is going to be a favorite. Next year, it’ll be even better, when I use chipotles together with Hatch chiles, but for now, chipotles are all I’ve got.
Serves 4 as a main course
1 (28-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes in juice
2-3 canned chipotles en adobo
1 tablespoon chipotle canning sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup rice, cooked (about 3 cups cooked rice)
about ¼ cup loosely packed, roughly chopped cilantro
1. Process the tomatoes, chipotle chiles, chipotle sauce, and ½ teaspoon salt in the blender until pureed.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato mixture and cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Taste and season with salt if necessary.
3. Add the shrimp to the pan, and cook, stirring constantly, until the shrimp are pink and curled up, about 6 minutes. Serve over rice with cilantro.