Chef Way Chef Donald Link uses satsuma juice (from an Asian citrus fruit similar to a mandarin orange) to flavor the sweet shrimp here. He then studs the spicy corn-bread cakes with fresh Southern shell beans.
Easy Way Replace the satsuma juice with ordinary orange juice and buy baby lima beans (fresh or frozen) as a stand-in for the shell beans.
Plus: F&W's Fish and Seafood Cooking Guide More Shrimp Recipes Southern Food
1 cup fresh or frozen baby lima beans
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup minced onion
6 garlic cloves—2 minced, 4 sliced
1 small jalapeño, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme, plus 4 thyme sprigs
1 1/2 packed cups of crumbled corn bread (6 ounces)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large egg, beaten
All-purpose flour, for dusting
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, cut into thin strips
1 1/4 pounds medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 Thai chile, minced
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
How to Make It
Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the lima beans and cook until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the onion, minced garlic and jalapeño and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the onion mixture to a medium bowl and add the lima beans, chopped thyme and corn bread. Stir in the buttermilk and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the egg. Using lightly moistened hands, form the mixture into 6 cakes, about 1 inch thick. Dust the cakes with flour and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, until chilled.
Wipe out the skillet. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in 2 tablespoons of the oil in the skillet. Dust the cakes with flour again. Add them to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until golden and crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer the cakes to plates and keep warm. Wipe out the skillet.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet. Add the pancetta and cook over high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the sliced garlic and thyme sprigs and cook until the garlic is lightly browned, about 30 seconds. Season the shrimp with salt and add to the skillet along with the Thai chile. Cook, stirring, until the shrimp are slightly curled and pink, about 2 minutes. Add the orange juice and zest and cook until the juice is slightly reduced and the shrimp are cooked through, about 1 minute. Discard the thyme sprigs and swirl in the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Spoon the shrimp and sauce over the cakes and serve right away.
The corn cakes can be prepared through Step 1 and refrigerated overnight.
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