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Open-Faced Mexican Shrimp

Open-Faced Mexican Shrimp

From: Chef Richard Sandoval, Modern
Mexican Restaurants. Yield: 4 servings.

Adobo Shrimp:
1 cup adobo (recipe follows)
12 jumbo Ocean Garden Authentic Mexican Shrimp (11-15/lb.), shelled and deveined
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 tsp. salt

Tortilla Crisps:
1 flour tortilla, 12"
1/4 cup cilantro pesto (recipe follows)
1/4 cup grated cotija cheese or Parmesan cheese

Arugula Salad:
1 bunch arugula, washed and dried, tough stems removed
1 Hass avocado, halved, pitted, skin removed and flesh cut into cubes
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
* * *
4 flour tortillas, 8"
1/2 cup shredded Oaxaca cheese or mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup cilantro pesto (recipe follows)

Optional Garnish:
grated cotija cheese or Parmesan cheese, as needed
cilantro pesto, as needed
crema fresca or creme fraiche, stirred (or sour cream mixed with a little heavy cream), as needed

5 dried guajillo chiles
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1/4 white Spanish onion, sliced
1 small clove garlic
2 whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks, 6", broken into thirds
12 whole black peppercorns
1/8 tsp. cumin seeds, crushed
1 1/2 cups water

Cilantro Pesto:
1 Tbsp. canola oil, plus 1⁄4 cup
1⁄2 cup chopped white Spanish onion
1⁄2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1⁄4 cup packed snipped fresh chives
1⁄4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 fresh serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, chopped
1⁄2 tsp. roasted garlic puree (recipe follows)
2 Tbsp. sherry wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-2 tsp. honey, depending on hotness of serrano chile
1⁄2 tsp. salt
1⁄8 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
1 Tbsp. grated cotija cheese or Parmesan cheese
1⁄4 cup olive oil

Roasted Garlic Purée:
12 cloves garlic, papery skin removed but unpeeled
2 Tbsp. canola oil

For adobo shrimp: Reserve 1/2 cup of the adobo. In a medium bowl, toss together the shrimp and the remaining adobo. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

For tortilla crisps: Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut tortilla into 12 triangles and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the cilantro pesto and sprinkle with the cotija cheese. Bake until golden brown and crisp, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the crisps to a wire rack.

For arugula salad: In large bowl, toss together the arugula, avocado, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Set aside.

For shrimp: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Season shrimp with salt. Add to hot oil and cook until curled and opaque in the center, 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.

Place the 4 flour tortillas on a baking sheet. Drizzle each tortilla with 2 Tbsp. of reserved adobo. Sprinkle each with 2 Tbsp. Oaxaca cheese. Bake the tortillas until the cheese melts, 1 to 2 minutes. Tortillas should not become crisp.

To serve: On each of 4 dinner plates, place a tortilla. Place a quarter of the salad in center of each, and arrange 3 shrimp around the salad on each tortilla. Drizzle with the cilantro pesto and garnish each with 3 tortilla crisps. If desired, sprinkle the rims of the plates with the grated cotija cheese and drizzle with the cilantro pesto and the crema fresca.

For adobo: Remove stems, seeds and membranes from chiles. Break chiles into large pieces and set aside. In medium saucepan or skillet, heat oil over mediumhigh heat. Add onion, garlic, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns and cumin seeds. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and dark golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add chiles and cook until darkened on both sides, about 1 minute. Add 11/2 cups water to cover ingredients about halfway. Gently boil until reduced by half, 5-8 minutes. Scrape into a blender and puree. Pour into medium mesh sieve set over a bowl and press solids with a rubber spatula or the back of a ladle to release liquid. Discard solids. Store, tightly covered, in refrigerator for several weeks.

For cilantro pesto: In small skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. canola oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until tender and browned, 3-4 minutes. Scrape into blender. To the blender, add cilantro, chives, pine nuts, chile, roasted garlic puree, sherry wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, white pepper and cotija cheese. Blend until pureed. Mix together canola and olive oils in measuring cup. With blender running, gradually add oil in thin stream until well-blended and oil is thoroughly incorporated. Store, tightly covered, in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

For roasted garlic purée: Preheat oven to 300°F. In small baking dish, mix together the garlic and oil to coat it. Roast until garlic is soft, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven. When cool enough to handle, cut off hard end of cloves and squeeze garlic out of skin into small bowl. Mash to a purèe with a fork. Store purèe, tightly covered, in refrigerator for up to 3 days.