This weekend, I had company in town and little time to prepare for their presence. Between work, cleaning the house and cleaning the dogs; we had a lot on our plates. So, in times like these, I choose to improvise and make something I know will be so packed full of flavor, no one will complain. If they do, show them to the door:)! For me, it has to be my olive oil poached shrimp with escabeche. I like this dish because you can prep-if you have the time-or you can completely wing it 20 minutes before your guests arrive and still appear as though you’re on top of your game.
3 tri-colored bell peppers—seeded, ribbed and julienned.
2 garlic cloves, grated and separated.
1 Spanish onion, julienned.
2 jalapenos—seeded, ribbed and julienned
1 pound of prawns, shelled and de-veined
1 tablespoon of cilantro, minced
3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of sherry cooking wine
1 French baguette, thinly sliced
2 cups, plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Coat the bottom of a saute pan with the olive oil and put over medium-high heat. Once the pan is to temperature, add your vegetables minus the garlic clove and season with salt and pepper and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat, and cook for an additional 6-8 minutes and stir throughout. Next, grate the clove of garlic over the shrimp that have been shelled and deveined and season with salt and pepper. Stir the shrimp around in a bowl and allow to sit for about 5-10 minutes. From there, transfer to a pie pan and add the 2 cups olive oil and place in a 300 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until they’ve reached a coral color. At the same time, spread out the toast rounds on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil and cook for about 5-8 minutes.
While the shrimp are cooking in the oven and the pepper and onion mixture have started to brown, you’ll want to go ahead and grate the remaining garlic clove in the pan and cook for 60 seconds. From there, add the vinegar and the sherry and stir and cook for another minute. Next, add the sugar and stir. Last, season with salt and pepper and add the cilantro.
For the plating, place a toast round on the plate, then the escabeche and top it with the olive oil poached shrimp. This dish is sure to please any crowd and imparts a ton of flavor. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.