Honey Chipotle Tequila Shrimp with Lime Crema
Shrimp are one of the best proteins to work with as they can take on many types of flavors. Lots of different cultures use shrimp in different ways, which is what makes them so versatile. I always make sure I keep some always shrimp in our fridge and freezer as they are quick to cook and, like I previously stated, can take on so many different flavors. Personally, you will find in my freezer mainly Gulf Shrimp as that is what is easy to get where I live. I like to keep them in different sizes as well, Jumbo 21 to 25, peeled, deveined, tail ON, and some of the same with tail off. Tail on works well for grilling and tail off is for pasta’s, soups, etc. I do keep some Extra Jumbo 16 to 20 as well that have full shell for boiling and a couple of other recipes. When doing surf and turf I like to have the Colossal as they just pair well with steak. Having multiple options of shrimp make it easy to be prepared when you need to throw together a quick meal or appetizer.
Shrimp is a quick cook, so be careful that you don’t overcook your shrimp. A way to check your shrimp is to watch the shape they make, if they are straight, then they aren’t cooked. A shrimp that is shaped like an “O” is overcooked. What you’re looking for is a “C” shape. This will let you know you are in the done zone. Now none of this is without exceptions as if you are cooking on skewers then the shrimp won’t really change shape, so the best thing is to track your temperature and time to make sure you’re getting them cooked correctly.
To begin the process of this recipe you will need to get the shrimp marinating. Take all your marinating ingredients, tequila, olive oil, and chipotles, and add to the food processor. Pulse these a few times to mix, then let it go on low for a bit until well blended. Add shrimp into a bowl, salt and pepper, then pour over marinade. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. The longer you marinate the more of the taste the shrimp will pick up, so feel free to keep them in the marinade longer if you choose. While the shrimp are in the fridge, if using wooden skewers, I will place them in the sink and cover with water. This will help keep the skewers from burning into when using on the grill. I do like the metal ones that I can use over and over, but when making these for a lot of people I will go with the wooden ones as I can portion them out better.
After the shrimp is marinating, it’s time to get the crema made so it has time to let the flavors meld together. Add the sour cream into a bowl and begin zesting a lime into the bowl. If you zest the entire lime, you should get somewhere along a tablespoon worth of zest. When you zest a lime or lemon you will really begin to smell their aroma as there is a ton of flavor in that zest. Be sure you wash the lime before zesting so you don’t get any dirt in your crema. After zesting, cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl, it should yield about a tablespoon worth, if it is more that is fine as the sour cream can handle a little extra spice. Add in the garlic powder and mix well. Set the crema aside in the fridge to allow the flavors to come together.
Now that the crema is complete, time to get the butter mixture ready. Melt the stick of butter and then add all your other ingredients and mix well. Feel free to use dry cilantro if you like here as it will work if you don’t have any fresh cilantro. The fresh cilantro is going to release much more flavor into the butter versus the dry version. If you do use the dry you might add a little extra to help, get that flavor you will need. This butter mixture is going to be working in two ways for this dish, one is it will impart a whole lot of flavor into the dish. The other way is it will work to combat the spice of the marinade. Chipotles are a delicious flavor, but they are jalapenos and if you aren’t a spicy lover, then the butter is going to really tone down that spice but still allow the chipotle to shine through.
After all the components are ready, it’s time to cook the shrimp. Once again, I like to use the metal skewers as they are just easier to deal with, but if you are going to be cooking for a lot of people then the wooden skewers are better for portioning. Add the shrimp to the skewers and right before placing on the grill, take your basting brush and just dip it into the top of the butter, not getting any of the other ingredients on the brush. Lightly brush each shrimp (2nd picture) and then place the buttered side down on the grill over direct heat. This will help to get that good char you are looking for that imparts really good flavor to your shrimp. As the shrimp cook be sure to baste them with the butter. This will keep them moist and from sticking to the grates of the grill. Each skewer should cook for about 60 to 90 seconds on each side. After the shrimp are done, place them on a tray and baste them one last time, be sure to get all the ingredients on your brush when finishing them.
Shrimp are done and ready to plate, so top each skewer with some of the lime crema. Best thing here is to put the crema into a squeeze bottle that way you can control how much you are adding to the plate. Once the crema is down, top the shrimp with some green onions and start eating! In the picture here you can see I have plated them with some of what I like to call a grill/roasted zucchini and yellow crooked necked squash. They are a wonderful side dish and the technique and process for making them will be highlighted in a separate post, but I promise you they work perfectly with this shrimp!
Honey Chipotle Tequila Shrimp with Lime Crema
- 1 lb. Shrimp peeled, deveined
- 1/4 cup Green Onions chopped for garnish
- 1 tbsp Each of Salt & Pepper
- 1 oz. Tequila
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1/4 cup Chipotle in Adobo sauce
- 1 tsp Salt & Pepper
Honey Butter Mixture:
- 1 stick Unsalted Butter melted
- 2 tbsp Honey
- 2 tbsp Cilantro chopped
- 1 tbsp Minced garlic
- 1 tbsp Pickled Jalapeno diced
- 1/2 cup Sour Cream
- 1 tbsp Juice of half a lime
- Zest of one lime
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- Take all marinade ingredients, minus salt & pepper, and add to food processor and blend well
- Add shrimp to a bowl, season with salt and pepper and then add in marinade. Coat the shrimp well, cover and let sit in fridge for 30 minutes
- While shrimp marinade take all honey butter mixture ingredients and add to bowl and mix well until combined. Cover and let sit to combine the flavors
- Now take all ingredients for the Lime Crema and whisk together until well combined, let sit in the fridge until time for use
- Set grill to high heat, 450 degrees. Take marinated shrimp and add to skewers. Place directly overheat. Cook on first side for about 1.5 minutes
- Turn over skewers and baste with butter mixture, repeating every 30 seconds until done
- Pull shrimp off grill and glaze one last time with the butter mixture, making sure to get plenty of the chopped ingredients on the shrimp
- Top with the Lime Crema and green onions and serve on the skewers