6 Garlic cloves unpeeled
1 small White onion sliced ¼" thick
6 ounces Ripe tomatoes
(1 medium-small or 2 to 3 plum tomatoes)
teaspoon Freshly-ground black pepper
teaspoon Ground cloves, (preferably freshly-ground)
2 tablespoons Olive oil
2 tablespoons Very-finely chopped canned chipotle chiles - (to 4 tbspns),
drained before chopping
teaspoon Salt - (abt ½ tspn)
2 pounds Medium-large shrimp - (abt 50)
Roasting the flavorings: On an ungreased griddle or heavy skillet set over medium heat, roast the garlic cloves, turning occasionally, until soft (they will blacken in spots), about 15 minutes. Cool and peel While the garlic is roasting, lay the onion out on a small square of foil, set on the griddle, and let sear, brown and soften, about 5 minutes per side.
In a very large (12-inch) skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When hot enough to make a drop of puree sizzle noisily, add it all at once. Stir for several minutes as the mixture sears and darkens, then reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring regularly, until very thick, about 5 minutes. A tablespoon at a time, stir in the chopped chipotles, tasting until the thick salsa suits your own penchant for spiciness. (These are the best when they've reached the upper levels of heat.) Taste, <
Return the skillet with the sauce to medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, then slowly stir and turn for about 3 to 4 minutes, until the shrimp are just cooked through. (the sauce should nicely coat the shrimp, though it won't really pool around them.) Taste a shrimp, sprinkle on a little more salt if necessary, then pile up the crustaceans on a rustic platter and carry them to the table.
Variations and Improvisations: You can take this same approach with scallops (preferably medium-size for even cooking) or with beef (grill about 2 pounds of anything tender enough to be a grillable steak, cut into 3/4-inch cubes, toss with the warm sauce and serve). For a casserole to serve on a buffet, toss the sauce with roasted potatoes or spread it on grilled eggplant, sprinkle with melting cheese, and run under the broiler until bubbly and brown.