At his L.A. spot, Josef Centeno has done what few chefs do: developed a new kind of sandwich bread. Called the bäco, it’s a very supple flatbread. But his creative fillings, like the fried shrimp here with cardamom-chile sauce and herbed crema, are sensational on any kind of flatbread, or even rolled inside flour tortillas.
1/2 cup crème fraîche
2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 tablespoons chopped mint
2 tablespoons minced chives
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
7 garlic cloves, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
4 Thai chiles, minced
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
16 large shrimp (about 1 pound), shelled and deveined
Vegetable oil, for frying
Four 10-inch, thin flatbreads, such as naan, or thick flour tortillas, warmed
1 Hass avocado, sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup sliced pickled red onions (from a jar of pickled beets and onions)
How to Make It
Step 1 prepare the sauces
In a bowl, whisk the crème fraîche with the buttermilk, mint, chives, lemon zest and 1 minced garlic clove; season the crema with salt and pepper.
Step 2 prepare the sauces
In a blender, combine the remaining minced garlic with the chiles, cardamom, cumin and lemon juice. Puree until smooth. Season the cardamom sauce with salt and pepper.
Step 3 prepare the shrimp
Put the beaten egg and panko in separate bowls. Dip the shrimp in the egg, then dredge in the panko; transfer to a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Step 4 prepare the shrimp
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a saucepan, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil to 350°. Fry 4 shrimp at a time, turning once, until browned and crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet to drain; season with salt. When all of the shrimp have been fried, transfer them to the oven and bake until heated through, about 2 minutes.
Step 5 prepare the shrimp
Spread the warm flatbreads with the spicy sauce. Arrange the avocado and the shrimp on top. Scatter the pickled onion on top, drizzle with the crema and serve.
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