Spicy Shrimp with Avocado Salsa and Fried Tortilla Chips
All the colors, tastes, and textures of the Southwest seem to find a place somewhere in this dish. It is the ultimate shrimp cocktail, chunks of shrimp tossed in fiery salsa. The avocado cubes and garnish give cool, creamy respite from the heat. Adjust the heat to taste by using 1 or 2 jalapenos.
- Roasted Vegetables
- Roma Tomatoes - 4
- Tomatillos - 6, husked
- Garlic - 4 cloves, threaded on a soaked wooden skewer
- Yellow Bell Pepper - 1
- Red Bell Pepper - 1
- Jalapenos - 1 or 2 chilies
- Onion - 1 small white, quartered
- Shrimp - 1 lb, medium, in the shell
- Chili powder - 1 teaspoon
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Avocado Salsa and Garnish
- Cilantro - 1 cup, fresh
- Coarse salt - 2 teaspoons
- Tomato Juice - 1/4 to 1/2 cup
- Lime Juice - 4 teaspoons, fresh
- Avocados - 2
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Maple Syrup - 1 1/2 teaspoons (optional)
- Lime - 4 wedges
- Cilantro - 4 sprigs
To roast the vegetables: over a very hot charcoal fire, grill the vegetables until they are lightly charred and tender but not mushy. Remove all vegetables from the grill. Place the peppers and chilies in a paper bag, close it, and let them cool. Remove the skins and seeds from the peppers and the seeds from the jalapeno(s). Set all the vegetables aside.
To prepare the shrimp: Put the shrimp in a medium saucepan and add enough cold water to just cover them. Add the chili powder and salt and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 1 minute. Drain. Place the shrimp in a single layer on a baking sheet and let cool to room temperature. Set aside eight shrimp for garnish and roughly dice the remainder.
To make the salsa: In a blender or food processor, place all of the roasted vegetables along with any juices collected while they cool. Add the cilantro leaves, coarse salt, and pulse, adding enough of the tomato juice to produce a chunky salsa. Pour the salsa into a large bowl.
Put the lime juice in a shallow bowl. Peel and pit the avocados, then cut into 1/2-inch dice. Put the diced avocado in the lime juice briefly to prevent browning. Reserve 1/4 cup of the diced avocado for garnish, and gently stir the remaining avocado into the salsa along with the diced shrimp. Add the lime juice and season with pepper. Taste for seasoning: if it is too spicy or tart, add maple syrup to balance the flavors.
To serve: Spoon the salsa into large Margarita glasses and garnish the top of each with two reserved shrimp, a lime wedge, some of the reserved avocado, and a sprig of cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips on the side.