Shrimp with Sugar Cane and Papaya Ketchup
Creative packages open to reveal grilled vegetables or grilled shrimp. The vegetables and shrimp are sandwiched (separately) between leek leaves with a piece of sugar cane to provide a sort of “spine.” The packets are seared in a pan and criss-crossed on the plates. The papaya ketchup served with them is a recipe find in itself.
- Papaya Ketchup
- Sugar - 1/3 cup
- Water - 1⁄3 cup
- White Wine - 2 cups
- Papaya - 1⁄2
- Lemon Grass - 1⁄4 cup, chopped
- Ginger - 1⁄4 cup chopped
- Hot Red Pepper - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Water - 1 cup
- Tomato Paste - 1 tablespoon
- Salt - 1⁄2 teaspoon
- Fried Leeks
- Peanut Oil - 4 cups
- Leek - white part of 1 leek
- Sugar Cane - Four, 8-inch pieces, fresh
- Zucchini - 1 medium
- Turnip - 1 large
- Carrot - 1 large
- Olive oil
- Asparagus - 10 medium
- Salt to taste
- Leek - green part of 1 leek, steamed 1 minute
- Shrimp - 12, large, peeled and deveined
- Sugar - 3 tablespoons, firmly packed, light brown
To make the papaya ketchup: In a small heavy-bottom saucepan heat the sugar until it turns a nice mahogony brown. Quickly and carefully add the water and wine. Add the papaya, lemon grass, ginger, red pepper, water, tomato paste, and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes. Pour into an electric blender and puree. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and keep warm in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until needed.
To fry the leeks: In a medium saucepan heat the peanut oil over high heat to 350 F.Cut the white part of the leek into 1⁄8-inch wide julienne and deep fry in the oil for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. With a long-handled strainer, remove to absorbent toweling until ready to use.
To cook the shrimp: Prepare a charcoal fire. Cut the sugar cane in half lengthwise, and then in half widthwise. Cut the zucchini, turnip, and carrot into 1⁄8 x 2-inch shapes and toss in a large mixing bowl with olive oil. Cut the blanched asparagus into 2-inch lengths and add to other vegetables in the bowl. Add a little salt to taste. Over hot coals, grill the vegetables for 2 minutes, turning once.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cut the blanched leek green into 1⁄8-inch strips. Lay 1 section of sugar cane across a green leek strip, then place one of each vegetable across the sugar cane. Top with a second piece of sugar cane and tie securely with the leek green. Do the same for the shrimp: place a section of sugar cane across a leek strip and place 3 shrimp on top of the sugarcane and top with another section of sugar cane and tie securely with the leek.
Sprinkle the vegetable and shrimp packages with salt and brown sugar. In a heavy sauté pan heat the olive oil until almost smoking and add the packets in batches so they won’t be overcrowded. Cook for 3 minutes on each side. When each is finished, remove to an absorbent towel while finishing the others. Place all packages on a baking tray and finish in the preheated oven just until heated through.
Place one vegetable package on a plate, crossing it with a shrimp package on top. Pour over 4 tablespoons of the papaya ketchup and top the whole with one-fourth of the fried leeks.