Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Shrimp in Red Escabeche

Shrimp in Red Escabeche, originally uploaded by Kim De.

Shrimp night is Bo's favorite night of the week - not that we have shrimp every single week, but I'd guess we average two times per month. He always lights up when he hears our dinner is shrimp!

I found this recipe in a book I have sorely neglected, Salsas that Cook by Rick Bayless. I have to confess that I love to collect cookbooks. And if I find an author I particularly admire, then I want to collect all of their cookbooks. So sometimes I end up buying them, placing them on the shelf with their brothers, and forgetting to cook with them.

I am working on a solution to rectify this problem. In the meantime, does anyone know of a good 12-step program for cookbook addicts?

Right now my goal is to cook from my Rick Bayless books more often. And this recipe jumped out at me. It is actually meant to be a starter, but serve it over some rice with sauteed spinach, and you've got yourself a meal!

Smoky and tangy from the vinegar, with a hint of honey to soften to blow, this recipe was a winner! It contained the correct hits from my flavor palette with the smoky salsa and the herby cilantro.

I know I have proclaimed this before, I almost always make my own salsa, but here I am again using a bottled kind. I cheated on my principals because it was a Bayless bottled salsa and recommended for the recipe. And who am I to correct Mr. Bayless? I promise, you won't continue to see this particular theme in my coking!

Shrimp in Red Escabeche (Rick Bayless)

1 bottle (16 ounces) Frontera Guajillo Salsa
2 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2 Tbs cider vinegar
1 Tbs honey or more to taste
Salt, about 1/2 teaspoon
1 lb medium-large (about 24) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium. Add the salsa and cook, stirring frequently, until reduced to the consistency of tomato paste 3 or 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar. Taste and season with honey and salt - it should taste slightly salty and have a hint of sweetness.

Stir the shrimp into the cooked salsa (there should be just enough to coat everything lightly) and return the pan to the medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the shrimp are just barely cooked through (cut open a shrimp to see that it has turned from translucent to opaque white), about 3 minutes.

Scoop onto a platter and let cool to room temperature. In a small strainer, rinse the sliced onion under cold water and shake until nearly dry. Sprinkle over the shrimp along with the cilantro leaves, and the dish is ready to serve.

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