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Shrimp with Avocado Relish
By Thomas Keller, at the French Laundry
July / August 2003
- 12 small shrimp, shelled and deveined, shells reserved
- 4 Tbsp grapeseed oil
- Reserved shrimp shells
- 2 carrots, finely diced
- 1 leek, finely diced
- 1 vine-ripened tomato, finely diced
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp minced ginger
- 6 cups water
- 2 avocados, brunoise (diced in very small, even-size pieces)
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled, brunoise
- 2 red radishes, brunoise
- 1 tsp red onion, brunoise
- 1 red bell pepper, peeled, brunoise
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Cayenne pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup shrimp stock
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp chives, minced
- Fleur de sel (fine sea salt) to taste
- 4 bunches (12-28 leaves) baby mache, as garnish
For the shrimp stock:
For the avocado relish:
For the vinaigrette:
1. Heat the grapeseed oil in a pot.
2. When it starts to smoke, add the shrimp shells and cook for 4 minutes.
3. Add the carrots, leek, and tomato and cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Season with cayenne pepper and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes.
5. Add the water and simmer for 20 minutes.
6. Strain and reserve stock.
7. Make the avocado relish: Fold all ingredients together and season with cayenne pepper.
8. Make the vinaigrette: Mix the shrimp stock in a bowl with the oil and add the chives. Season to taste.
9. Place the shrimp in a Ziploc bag and add 2 teaspoons of shrimp stock. Seal, then place the bag into another Ziploc bag and seal. Place the bag in hot water that is just below a simmer for about 4 minutes, or until shrimp are cooked. Remove the shrimp from the Ziploc bags, season with fleur de sel, and dress with 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette.
10. To serve, arrange 3 shrimp on each plate. Place a quenelle (an oval-shaped scoop made by dragging a spoon dipped in hot water) of the avocado relish on each shrimp. Dress the vinaigrette around the plates and over the shrimp. Toss the baby mache with the remaining vinaigrette and scatter 4 to 7 leaves around each plate.