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Chili-Glazed Shrimp with Tomatillo-Cilantro Sauce

Chili-Glazed Shrimp with Tomatillo-Cilantro Sauce

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  • 1 pound tomatillos,* husked
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced seeded jalapeño chili
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 24 jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails left intact
  • 2 tablespoons ground mild chili (such as ancho or New Mexican*)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Queso fresco* or feta cheese

Recipe Preparation

  • Cook tomatillos in large pot of boiling salted water until olive-green color, about 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to blender. Add onion, jalapeño, and garlic and process tomatillo sauce until smooth.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet over medium heat. Add sauce and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Bring to room temperature before using.

  • Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Toss shrimp with remaining 2 tablespoons oil in large bowl. Add ground chili, onion powder, and garlic powder; toss to combine. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper. Grill shrimp until just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.

  • Spoon about 3 tablespoons tomatillo sauce into center of each of 6 plates. Arrange shrimp atop sauce. Sprinkle with queso fresco.

  • * Tomatillos (green tomato-like vegetables with paper-thin husks), ground New Mexican chilies, and queso fresco (also known as queso blanco) are available at Latin American markets and some supermarkets.

,Photos by Pornchai MittongtareReviews Section

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Nectarine Soup with Crab Salad

It has long been a tradition to have steamed crabs for Mr Minx's birthday. We usually get two dozen, which comfortably feeds four adults, but for some reason, we had a ton left over this year. We did our part, putting away a dozen between the two us (along with hush puppies and corn on the cob), but there were still several crabs left by the time we were done. These were meaty suckers, so once we picked the remaining critters, we had a whole pound of meat (.984 lb, to be exact) left over.

I can probably eat a pound of crabmeat served with nothing but a fork, but that's no fun, and maybe more than a bit piggy. I didn't want to only make crabcakes, especially since I feel I've done that recently. I thought back to a soup I made with avocados and garnished with crab salad and decided that would hit the spot. Only we didn't have any avocados. But we did have a big bag of nectarines and white peaches that I had purchased at the farmers' market earlier in the week. Rather than going to my old stand-by soup, gazpacho, I decided to let the nectarines speak for themselves. Blended with a bit of Greek yogurt and seasoned with savory spices, it went nicely with the rich, sweet, blue crab (the best crab!).

As for the salad, I went with a ceviche-style preparation, with citrus juices, jalapeno, and tomato. Mr Minx and I agreed that it was a restaurant-quality dish, and not really all that difficult to prepare. And made entirely from things we already had on hand in the pantry and fridge.

Nectarine Soup with Crab Salad

For soup:
5 nectarines
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup chicken stock (you can use veg stock, or water)
1/4 cup mint leaves, loosely packed
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon harissa powder
Pinch cayenne
Large pinch salt
Agave syrup, to taste

For salad:
1 small shallot, minced
1 small tomato, seeded and diced, or 5-6 cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon agave syrup
1/2 lb fresh blue crab meat

To make soup: Peel nectarines and cut into chunks, discarding pits. Place nectarine flesh into a blender or food processor with remaining ingredients except cayenne, salt, and agave syrup, and pulse to a puree. Season to taste with the last three ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make salad: Place vegetables in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together citrus juices, olive oil, and agave syrup. Pour over vegetables. Add crab meat and gently fold to coat with dressing. Refrigerate for at least an hour for flavors to meld and to tame the oniony-ness of the shallot.

To serve: Pour soup into bowls or cups. Top with a generous portion of crab salad.

Serves 4-6, with extra crab salad.

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