Shrimp with Green Chiles and Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce
This dish has lots of hot chiles but isn't all that spicy. It has lots of olive oil, but it's not greasy-tasting. It has lots of onions and shrimp, but it's not a two-note-Charlie sort of dish. This simple dinner is deceptively complex.
I don't know where I got this recipe, but I have been cooking it since the late 1980s, according to my food diary, and because it's fast and easy I make it all the time. You can have dinner on the table in 15 minutes and the flavors are crazy good. I also happen to be a sucker for the curious ingredient--the ketchup in my Bangkok Chicken recipe, the mayo in this one; they seem so out of place, but the dishes don't work as well without them. Anyway, my family and I love Mexican food--it's one of the world's truly great cuisines. It's regional and as varied as the states that produce it. Mexico also has a fascinating pre- and post-colonial food history that is tangible as I eat my way around the country every time I visit. This dish is often seen in the Yucatan, in Veracruz and in and around oceanfront communities, but for any indefatigable travelers who need to see it up close in its own milieu, head to Huatulco and to the little restaurant called El Marinero. Drop my name. Who knows? They might make it for you. For everyone else, this version is the real deal.--Andrew Zimmern
Slideshow: Quick Mexican Recipes