Chipotle Shrimp with Crema Verde

The flavor of chipotle chile peppers is one of my favorite flavors – up there with garlic, cilantro, curry, pesto, and fish sauce.

Chipotle chile peppers are jalapeños which are dried and smoked. I don’t understand why they can’t be called smoked jalapeños, but no one asked my opinion. So chipotles they are.

You can purchase them whole and already ground. They also come in a can all plumped up in adobo sauce.

However you use chipotles, they add a unique, spicy smokiness to whatever food you’re preparing, whether you’re adding them to an enchilada sauce, seasoning flank steak, or spicing up a mayo.

Today I needed to make an appetizer with shrimp. I immediately thought of chipotle for seasoning – a fairly strong flavor that works with shrimp. Just for fun I also made a crema verde for a cool balance to the spicy shrimp.

Here’s what I did.

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Chipotle Shrimp with Crema Verde

Crema Verde

12 ounces crema or sour cream
2 ounces chopped green chiles
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed and dried
Salt, optional

To make the crema verde, place the Crema and green chiles in a small food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.

Gradually add cilantro leaves, processing as you add them, until the whole bunch of cilantro has been incorporated into the Crema.

Cover and refrigerate overnight if you’re not going to use right away. However, serve at room temperature.

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Chipotle Shrimp

3/4 pound medium-size shrimp, cleaned
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 teaspoons ground chipotle chile pepper
Salt
Pepper
Olive oil, as necessary

Make sure the cleaned shrimp are dry using paper towels. Place them in a large bowl and toss them gently in oil.

Add the chipotle, salt, and pepper. You can always season more after the shrimp are cooked.

Heat a little oil in a large, flat skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the shrimp in one layer, turning them over with tongs after only 1-2 minutes. The time will depend on the size of the shrimp. Typically they are done as soon as they turn from translucent to opaque and pink.

Cook the remaining batches and place the warm shrimp on a platter.

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Sprinkle more chipotle powder, or even ground sweet paprika if desired and serve with the crema verde.

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Besides being a fabulous and easy appetizer, the shrimp served over a layer of the crema verde, topped with a sprig of cilantro, would also be a wonderful first course to a southwestern-inspired meal.

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By Published On: April 18th, 201664 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

64 Comments

  1. Kiki April 18, 2016 at 7:16 AM - Reply

    I LOVE chipotle chilli powder, and funnily I only learned this past weekend (on US internet radio) that chipotles are smoked jalapenos… My thought was the same as yours: why aren’t they called smoked jalapenos then?!
    Chipotles are very hard to come by here in Germany, you either have to special order them (for a price…) or bring them back from a US vacation. Luckily I brought some back last year.
    Although I don’t eat seafood, your recipe sounds really delicious, I think I’ll try that with chicken instead.

    • chef mimi April 18, 2016 at 8:27 AM - Reply

      Many years ago, after much confusion, I bought a reference book by Mark Miller, well known as a chef of Southwestern cuisine, about chile peppers. That cleared everything up for me! And there are so many different varieties! When my daughter lived in London I would bring her salsa and Sriracha sauce when I visited!

  2. Travel Gourmet April 18, 2016 at 7:24 AM - Reply

    I love shrimp and these look and sound like a wonderful appetiser :)

    • chef mimi April 18, 2016 at 8:25 AM - Reply

      Thank you! We love everything spicy, but it can be controlled!

  3. thecompletebook April 18, 2016 at 7:36 AM - Reply

    How absolutely divine!
    Have a super day.
    :-) Mandy xo

  4. Nadia April 18, 2016 at 7:58 AM - Reply

    I so miss Mexican food here in France. Just have to make my own, I guess.

    • chef mimi April 18, 2016 at 8:24 AM - Reply

      There isn’t much there, is there?!!!!

  5. Debbie Spivey April 18, 2016 at 8:04 AM - Reply

    This looks amazing! Those are my favorite brand of chipotles… yum!

  6. Heather @ Sweet Precision April 18, 2016 at 8:04 AM - Reply

    I love to put chipotle peppers in enchilada sauce! Just recently I learned that they are simply dried and smoked jalapenos and I had exactly the same reaction as you! Such fantastic photos… that last closeup makes me want to reach right out and pop one in my mouth ;)

    • chef mimi April 18, 2016 at 8:24 AM - Reply

      Thank you so much! Many years ago I bought a chile pepper book by Mark Miller because I thought the whole chile pepper thing was so confusing – and with good reason! It’s a great reference.

  7. Gerlinde de Broekert April 18, 2016 at 8:34 AM - Reply

    Every time I return from Europe I have to have Mexican food. Your shrimp dish with the dipping sauce looks delicious. I love the flavor of chipotle peppers.

  8. Elaine @ foodbod April 18, 2016 at 11:11 AM - Reply

    I love chipotles but they’re also impossible to get in the UK too for some reason, I can get but the powder, no problem, but no whole dried chipotles for some reason :(

    • chef mimi April 18, 2016 at 3:16 PM - Reply

      When my daughter lived in London I was always bringing her Mexican and Southwestern care packages! Actually, if you can get the powder, then that cuts out a lot of steps you’d have to take with the whole dried chiles!

      • Elaine @ foodbod April 19, 2016 at 12:45 AM

        I know, but I like having all those steps!
        It’s really odd, this time last year they were available in abundance, but recently I haven’t been able to find any online or in person anywhere?!

      • chef mimi April 19, 2016 at 7:13 AM

        Oh, I see. I find it quite tedious, which is why I make a giant batch about once a year. What I do with the ancho chile paste is fun for me, tho! What about Amazon.uk? Do they have Mexican products?

      • Elaine @ foodbod April 19, 2016 at 7:16 AM

        Funnily enough, I’ve just looked and they’re coming back into stock 😀😀

  9. Beautiful work Mimi! Thanx for letting us know what Chipotle is, we’ve heard that several times in American movies and series and thought that it was something complicated, like curry or garam masala spice mixes. Unfortunately we don’t have dried smoked jalapenos here, so we’ll have to improvise (perhaps smoked paprika may work as well, right?).
    So great reading the About Me page as well, your life sounds so interesting. It’s really an honor that such an experienced Chef has visited out blog.
    Thank you for the wonderful recipe and for stopping by Mimi!

    • chef mimi April 18, 2016 at 3:15 PM - Reply

      Thank you so much! You’re too kind. Paprika and chile peppers are related, and smoky Hungarian paprika has a chipotle essence to it, but unfortunately they’re not the same flavor. I hope you can find some variety of chipotles!

    • Vinny Grette April 18, 2016 at 4:15 PM - Reply

      See my comment below about ordering on line – very helpful :)

  10. Chica Andaluza April 18, 2016 at 11:53 AM - Reply

    Well I didn’t know that either! As Elaine above says, hard to get hold of in the UK (not sure why) but I love that dip and the prawns!

    • chef mimi April 18, 2016 at 5:13 PM - Reply

      You’re not typically chile pepper connoisseurs if you live in the UK! I don’t know why, either – Southwestern cuisine and Indian have so many similar ingredients, but there just aren’t Mexican/Southwestern restaurants in the UK..

  11. Conor Bofin April 18, 2016 at 3:26 PM - Reply

    Very nice Mimi. The dipping sauce must be delicious.

    • chef mimi April 18, 2016 at 5:09 PM - Reply

      It’s very refreshing! But you have to love cilantro!

  12. Vinny Grette April 18, 2016 at 4:14 PM - Reply

    In 2016, you can order anything you want on line. That’s where I found ancho chiles, which are dried poblano peppers – and really good. I have a spice rub from anchos plus smoked paprika, which has become a family favorite. But perhaps your chipotle option will beat it out :).

    • chef mimi April 18, 2016 at 5:09 PM - Reply

      Luckily, I’m far enough to the south to find just about anything I need chile pepper-wise locally. That’s the one plus about living here! I always keep my freezer stocked with ancho chile paste, and I often include other dried chile peppers including chipotles for fun. Love them!

  13. Mary Frances April 18, 2016 at 4:39 PM - Reply

    The colors on here are beautiful, and I love the contrast between the shrimp and crema. A feast for eyes and mouth!

  14. anotherfoodieblogger April 18, 2016 at 6:59 PM - Reply

    I love shrimp, I love spicy, I love cilantro. This is a perfect appetizer to me, well done Mimi!

  15. FrugalHausfrau April 18, 2016 at 7:16 PM - Reply

    What a lovely dish! I can only imagine how good the shrimp are and that crema verde idea is amazing! Genius!

    • chef mimi April 19, 2016 at 7:17 AM - Reply

      Thank you! I love the spicy-cool combo!

  16. Tricia Buice April 18, 2016 at 8:19 PM - Reply

    I adore spicy shrimp! This creme looks fantastic – together they are perfect :)

    • chef mimi April 18, 2016 at 9:20 PM - Reply

      Thank you! It was a pretty fantastic appetizer!

  17. Fine Dining at Home (@fdathome) April 19, 2016 at 2:55 AM - Reply

    Looks delicious. I especially love creamy coriander(cilantro) things.

    • chef mimi April 19, 2016 at 7:12 AM - Reply

      I feel so sorry for people who dislike cilantro!!!

  18. Linda Duffin April 19, 2016 at 4:13 AM - Reply

    Just looking at that headline picture makes me ravenous, looks delicious. I didn’t know about the jalapeno/chipotle thing either, thanks for clearing that up!

    • chef mimi April 19, 2016 at 7:11 AM - Reply

      There are not too many chile pepper experts in London!

      • Linda Duffin April 19, 2016 at 8:00 AM

        It’s much better than it was … can get them from specialist places and online now. There was a time when adobe was assumed to refer to a Mexican house!

  19. dishinwithdidi April 19, 2016 at 4:59 AM - Reply

    Absolutely mouth watering my friend! It’s not even 6AM and I am wanting to reach in and grab one! I love your combination of flavors, I literally can imagine them singing in my mouth!! ♥

    • chef mimi April 19, 2016 at 7:18 AM - Reply

      Ha! I understand! Especially when you can just taste something!!!

  20. Lisa @ cheergerm April 19, 2016 at 6:44 AM - Reply

    I love prawns, coriander and chipotle and have bookmarked this recipe, thanks Mimi!

  21. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward April 19, 2016 at 8:40 AM - Reply

    Nice flavors! :-) I bet a full fat Greek yogurt would also work in a pinch? Yummy.

  22. Cocoa & Lavender April 19, 2016 at 4:42 PM - Reply

    I love both aspects of this dish – the shrimp and the crema. I can imagine them both together, and then using them for other recipes!

  23. Laura @ Feast Wisely April 19, 2016 at 5:05 PM - Reply

    These look delicious – I share your love of chipotle – the dried ones are hard to find here in Australia which is a shame….

    • chef mimi April 20, 2016 at 8:18 AM - Reply

      That is too bad. And they’re so inexpensive here.

  24. laughliveat April 20, 2016 at 11:02 AM - Reply

    I love shrimp and Chipotle! Can’t wait to try this!

  25. kitchenriffs April 20, 2016 at 1:06 PM - Reply

    I love this dish! In fact I just made a similar version (soon to appear on my blog). Great minds! Yours looks terrific — thanks.

    • chef mimi April 20, 2016 at 7:43 PM - Reply

      Great minds is right! And great palates!

  26. cookingwithauntjuju.com April 21, 2016 at 9:25 AM - Reply

    Just used chipotles in adobo sauce in a black bean dip. I love the flavor it gives to recipes and I bet it was great with the shrimp!

    • chef mimi April 22, 2016 at 8:49 AM - Reply

      It’s a wonderful product! So good in chili, too!

  27. Frank Fariello April 24, 2016 at 8:16 AM - Reply

    The flavors of the shimp and cream must play off each other beautifully.

  28. Loretta April 24, 2016 at 11:48 AM - Reply

    Love chipotles, it adds such a nice, smoky flavor to the dish. I’ll bet that shrimp was delicious.

  29. Karen April 26, 2016 at 4:44 PM - Reply

    The crema verde has to be a nice compliment to your spicy shrimp. That last photo of yours is great…makes me want to grab that shrimp by the tail and take a bite. :D

    • chef mimi April 28, 2016 at 4:48 PM - Reply

      Thanks so much Karen! Always working on my photography “skills!”

      • Karen April 28, 2016 at 6:00 PM

        I don’t know if you have to work anymore. :D

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