poached shrimp with spicy dipping sauce
You know that nagging feeling you wake up with sometimes that says, “Dang it I need to dunk a crustacean into some spicy avocado sauce. Right. Now!” OK maybe this feeling doesn’t overwhelm all of you. But having been raised on the east coast of Canada, at times I get a mean hankering for shellfish that cannot be quieted. Here’s my recipe for a quick fix to the crustacean craving:
6 not-messing-around, majorly-giant shrimp (yes, I hear the contradiction)
for poaching liquid:
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup white wine
juice of one lemon
for dipping sauce:
1 ripe avocado
1 small jalapeño pepper, chopped into a few pieces
1 tbs fresh cilantro
1 tbs avocado oil
1 tbs fresh lime juice
Peel and devein the shrimp, reserving heads and shells for another preparation, (such as a quick shrimp stock or the base of a lovely sauce.) I like to leave the shell on the tail and just above because it prevents the smaller part of the shrimp (the shrimp of the shrimp, if you will) from overcooking. Bring your poaching liquid to a steady simmer and drop in your shrimp. It’s tough to give a time here, but they will cook quicker than you’d think, so keep your eye on em and when they turn pink and start to curl, transfer them to ice water to stop the cooking and cool them down. These shrimp are meant to be cold, after all!
Now for the dipping sauce: In a food processor, combine your pieces of jalapeño, (including the membrane and seeds if you are super daring and can handle the heat!) cilantro, and avocado oil and process until smooth. Add avocado and lime juice and process until, again, smooth.
Distribute sauce evenly into two martini glasses (if you’re in an uber retro mood, like I was!) or any other vessel you like, and add shrimp. Either whirl them out to your distinguished guests, or, (and I would recommend this:) hoard them and eat while standing, because they’re just too good to bother waiting till you’re seated.