Thursday, February 16, 2017

Chile and Chocolate Prawns; #ImprovCookingChallenge

This months challenge asked us to share recipes that used chocolate and chile peppers.  I love a little heat with my chocolate so I was thrilled with this theme.

I chose to use crushed red chile peppers and Ghiradelli 68% cocoa chocolate for this recipe that I found in The Food and Cooking of Mexico, South America and the Caribbean by Jane Milton, Jenni Fleetwood and Marina Filippelli.  

I received this cookbook as a gift from our friend's, the Greens.  It not only contains a ton of great recipes but also the history of these areas, the foods cooked in different regions of these countries, and the feasts and festivals that they celebrate. It is the perfect book to curl up with on a dreary winter day, with a cup of tea and lose yourself into the sunshine and tropics of these areas.  I will be posting this recipe over at Foodies Read 2017 where we share all of our food related reads each month.

I adapted this recipe from one found in the section labeled street food and snacks.  They cook up in quickly especially if you, like I, buy raw shrimp that has already been peeled and deveined.  

Then you only need to butterfly them, dredge them in seasoned flour and fry them up in a little olive oil for only a minute or two before they are ready to be tossed in the chile chocolate sauce.

This sauce!!  Not only does it contain chiles and chocolate but also fresh squeezed orange juice and a touch of sherry.  If there is anything better than chocolate with a little heat it is chocolate and orange together.  I have loved this flavor profile since I got my first foil covered chocolate orange as a kid.  I love those things and buy them each Christmas when they are available in the stores.

They may be street food or snacks in Mexico but in our house it was the first course at our Valentine Dinner Party. Very apropos to serve a savory chocolate dish on this day accompanied by a bit of bubbly to get the party started! Don't forget to scroll past my recipe for more great Chile and Chocolate creations.

Chile and Chocolate Prawns
adapted from The Food and Cooking of Mexico

3-4  Raw Large Shrimp per person, peeled and deveined. (I used 24 shrimp)
2 T. flour, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste
1 T. olive oil
2 T.  dry sherry
Juice of 2 oranges
1 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
2 t. garlic paste
1 t. ginger paste
1/4 t. crushed red chile pepper, or more to taste

Place the orange juice, sherry, garlic, ginger and chile pepper into a small saucepan over med low heat and bring to a simmer.  Remove from heat and stir in chocolate pieces until smooth.  Set aside.

Butterfly your shrimp by cutting down the back until nearly but not completely through the other side.  Press flat into the seasoned flour on both sides.  Heat the olive oil in a skillet over med high heat.  Add the shrimp, in batches if necessary and cook for a minute or so on each side until golden brown with pink edges.  Remove shrimp to a plate.  Pour the sauce into the skillet and cook, stirring and scraping any brown bits stuck to the bottom into the sauce until slightly thickened.  Return shrimp to skillet and toss with the sauce before serving.  Print Recipe

Chile and Chocolate Challenge


  1. I love that you went savory with this combination! I can't picture what it tastes like, but it sure looks good.

    1. They were really good Nichole. Kind of like a mole sauce if that helps.

  2. I SO wanted to go for savory, but ran out of time. Soon!

  3. hmmmmmmm -- I need to find that recipe book, it looks like a keeper! That sauce looks amazing!

    1. It was Melody. I got the book as a gift but it is available on line.

  4. I never would have thought to combine these ingredients! What a great idea!


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