Southwestern Shrimp Grilled in Cornhusks



  • 16 large dried cornhusks
  • 2 red onions, peeled and cut into 3/8-inch slices
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 16 jumbo shrimp (about 1 lb), peeled and de-veined
  • Charred Chile Salsa (recipe below)
  • 1 ripe Haas avocado, peeled, pitted and cut lengthwise into eighths
  • Cilantro sprigs for garnish
  • 4 lime wedges for garnish

Charred Chile Salsa

  • 1 ear corn, husked
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 large ripe plum tomatoes
  • 8 tomatillos, husked
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/2 small white onion, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 dried New Mexico chiles
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (no stems!)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black peppers to taste


  1. Shrimp: In a large bowl, cover cornhusks with boiling water, set aside until pliable, about 1 hour.
  2. Prepare grill.
  3. Insert wooden pick horizontally through each onion slice to secure for grilling.
  4. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Grill onions, turning until lightly charred, about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove wooden picks.
  7. Drain cornhusks and open flat. Overlap wide, flat ends if 2 cornhusks to make a boat-shape package.
  8. Repeat to make 8 packages.
  9. Divide onions among cornhusks and top each with shrimp and 2 tablespoons Charred Chile Salsa.
  10. Fold cornhusks edges firmly around filling and tie ends with kitchen string.
  11. Place packages on grill. Cover and grill, without turning, until shrimp is opaque, 10 to 12 minutes.
  12. To serve, open each plate. Garnish with avocado, cilantro and lime wedges.
  13. Serve with remaining salsa.
  14. Charred Chile Salsa: Prepare a grill. Brush corn, bell pepper, tomatoes, tomatillos, garlic and onion with oil. Thread garlic on a metal skewer. Grill vegetables, turning until charred, 5 to 15 minutes.
  15. Lightly grill chiles, turning often, about 1 minute. (Do not burn) When vegetables are cool enough to handle, peel, core and quarter bell pepper. Peel tomatoes and garlic. Core tomatillos. Stem and seed chiles.
  16. In a food processor, coarsely chop bell pepper and chiles. Add tomatoes, tomatillos, garlic, onion, cilantro, lime juice and brown sugar and coarsely chop. Transfer to a bowl. Cut kernels from corn and stir into salsa. Add salt and pepper.

4 servings; 2 cups salsa

Salsa will keep, covered, in a refrigerator up to 1 day.

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