Shrimp with Green Chiles and Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
- SERVINGS: 4 to 6
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 Yucatán, 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
- 1/2 pound tomatillos—husked, rinsed and quartered
- 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 large serrano chile, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
- 1 Hass avocado, halved and pitted
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 8 garlic cloves, halved and very thinly sliced
- 6 jalapeños, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
- 2 pounds medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- Warm corn tortillas, for serving
- Diced tomatoes, for serving
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Cilantro leaves, for serving
MAKE THE SAUCE
In a food processor, puree the tomatillos with the onion, serrano, garlic and cilantro. Scoop the avocado into the food processor, add the lime juice and puree. Season with salt and transfer to a serving bowl.
PREPARE THE SHRIMP
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Add the jalapeños and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Add the shrimp, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the mayonnaise.
Serve the shrimp with tortillas, tomatoes, lime wedges,cilantro leaves and the avocado-tomatillo sauce.