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Eduardo Garcia's Grilled Shrimp Adobada

Grilled Shrimp Adobada

byEduardo Garcia
Total 2 hours and 45 minutes
Active 45 mins
Makes 6 to 8 servings
The essence of this dish is bold, simple, messy, off-the-coals shrimp that are finger-licking good. You’ll want to eat the heads, tails, and everything in between, including the shells. At its simplest, the word adobo comes from the verb adobar, which means “to marinate.” Originally adobo was used to describe a Spanish pickling sauce made of olives, vinegar, and spices. Chile-based Mexican adobo, like Spanish adobo, is often used as a marinade for meat and seafood. A protein marinated in adobo is referred to as adobada. Adobo can be thinned out with broth to make a sauce, turned into the base of a stew, or used as a condiment. Here adobo does triple duty as a marinade and brushing sauce for jumbo shrimp as well as being served as a spicy dipping sauce alongside.
Special Equipment
Metal skewers, or wooden skewers soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
Special Equipment
Metal skewers, or wooden skewers soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
  • 4 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 dried chipotle chile, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 pound Roma tomatoes, about 4 to 6 tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ounce Mexican chocolate, such as Ibarra, chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 pounds jumbo head-on shrimp (U9 to U14), shell on, deveined
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Lime wedges, to serve (optional)
    1. Heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Add the guajillo and chipotle chiles to the skillet and toast until fragrant and slightly brighter in color, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
    2. In a medium saucepan, combine the toasted chiles, whole tomatoes, and garlic cloves. Cover three-quarters of the way with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the tomatoes are very soft and their skins start to break, 8 to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the solids to a blender. Chop the whites of the scallions and add to the blender. Thinly slice the scallion greens and reserve for garnish. Add the oregano, allspice, cumin, thyme, vinegar, butter, chocolate, and salt. Blend on high until completely smooth. Pour the sauce into a large bowl and let cool slightly.
    3. In a medium bowl, toss the shrimp with 1 cup of the prepared sauce. Allow the shrimp to marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
    4. Meanwhile, have ready metal skewers or wooden skewers soaked in water for at least 30 minutes. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil to the pan and heat another 30 seconds. Add the reserved sauce to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until reduced and thickened slightly, 4 to 5 minutes. Keep warm.
    5. Prepare a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Skewer each shrimp starting between the head and the body and pushing the skewer through the tail to straighten the shrimp. Grill the shrimp over medium-high heat until the shells are charred in spots and bright pink and the meat is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
    6. Brush the grilled shrimp with some of the reduced sauce. Loosen the shrimp slightly from the skewers to make them easier for the guests to eat. Serve them sprinkled with the scallion greens and with lime wedges (if using) and the reduced sauce alongside for dipping.