When I did my weekly grocery shopping recently, I lingered over the seafood section as I always do but this time, zeroed in on the jumbo shrimp. I don’t normally buy jumbo shrimp because 15 of them costs almost $20 and I can crush at least 5 of them in under a min. I like a little more bang for my buck, you know? But I caved because it’s been eons since I did anything with shrimp.
So I got the shrimp and I’m going….”now what?” Shrimp Scampi? Naaah…it’s too hot for all that pasta. Shrimp Cocktail? Too boring. Exactly what the fuck do I plan to do with them?
You guys ever get like this? Buy something you find enticing but then can’t come up with a satisfying way to use it?
The first few days, I honestly didn’t do shit with them. Just put them in my freezer and moved onto the Cornish Game Hen I had marinating. Speaking of which… I’ve gotten a few questions asking me whether I eat red meat and how come I don’t post any steak recipes. I figured now is a good time to go over it seeing as I’m posting another seafood recipe.
When it comes to steak and shit like that, it’s not that I don’t eat red meat…it’s just not my first choice. Or my second really. But you know, if someone was like, “Dana…you GOTTA try this steak”, I’d be all in. But it better be fucking delicious.
I want to experience the reason I had to try that steak so badly.
Ok, so back to the shrimp. When I pulled it out of my freezer, I was still tossing ideas around in my head, building up atmosphere but buy the time it had thawed, I decided to make a small plate out of it. Sort of like an appetizer.
I wanted to incorporate some veggies and since I had coconut milk, I chose to develop a light sauce for this vision I had in my head. It came together remarkably well but what really cemented it as a jackpot recipe, was the fresh lime juice squeezed over it.
It would actually be really good as a meal so if wanna go that route, just double up on the ingredients. I am DEFINITELY going to buy shrimp more often as a result of this creation.
Shrimp with Avocado and Butternut Squash
What I Used
15-20 Uncooked Jumbo Shrimp. 1½ cup chopped cilantro. 2 thinly sliced scallions (white and light green parts only). 1 large Butternut Squash. Half an Avocado. 2 Limes. 2 cups Chicken Broth. 1 can Coconut Milk (13.5oz). 2 tbsp thinly sliced Shallots. 2 tbsp Butter. 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper. 1 tsp diced Garlic. Olive Oil. Salt. Pepper.
What I Did
Start with the shrimp because you want to give it a little time to marinate.
In a large bowl, add 1 cup chopped cilantro and the sliced scallions.
Rinse the shrimp thoroughly and peel the shells.
Some people snap the tail off but I prefer to retain as much shrimp as I can, so I peel around that little tail dagger
Add the shrimp to the bowl, along with 2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (more if you like a little heat to things) and 2 tbsp olive oil.
Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and using your hands, toss to coat the shrimp with the marinade mixture.
Place the shrimp on a baking sheet, careful that they are not touching each other. You may need multiple sheets.
Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Meanwhile, make the Coconut Sauce:
Melt 1 tbsp butter in a small pot.
Add in 1 tbsp thinly sliced shallots, 1 tsp diced garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add the 2 cups chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Then lower heat and simmer for 15 mins.
After 15 mins, add in the coconut milk and ½ cup chopped cilantro.
Stir and then simmer for 5 mins. You want it to thicken a lil’.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and set aside.
Pre-heat oven to 350F.
Next, the Squash:
Peel the squash and cut into ½ in cubes.
Heat 1 tbsp butter and ½ cup water in a small saucepan over med-high heat.
When the butter has melted, add the squash cubes, season with salt and pepper and let cook at a simmer until the squash is tender. 5 mins or so.
When the squash is done cooking, remove from heat and set aside uncovered, to cool to room temperature.
Grab the shrimp from the fridge and place in the oven for 4 mins, or until just barely cooked.
While that is happening, halve and peel the avocado, cutting it into ½ in cubes.
Reheat the coconut sauce.
To serve, place the squash cubes in a bowl, alternating pieces with the avocado.
Place the shrimp on top (I chose to form a pinwheel) and spoon the sauce around the shrimp.
Lastly, squeeze half a slice of lime over the bowls.
Do not forget this part – it’s insane how much it matters.
Eat with fork and knife. Keep it classy.