Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Shrimp with Avocado Salsa

This has got to be the easiest thing in TFLC to make. At the very least, in the top 5. But taste? Mm. Its ok. Not bad, for sure, but not fantastic.

Because it was so easy, there was absolutely no prep in the days leading up to dinner. Love. (Especially since the dessert was all-prep all the time).

First, in the morning, I prepared the court boullion.Basically just simmered water and aromatics, including my first bouquet garni!, and then added a ton of acid.

Check out the bouquet garni!

Next I tossed the shrimp in, and cooked for literally a minute.  Which was just enough time for me to wash my hands, take a picture, and put the camera back down.

Then I put the shrimp in bowl, covered in stock, and into the fridge it went! For future reference, I would not recommend putting the stock over the shrimp until it cooled a bit. I had a feeling it would keep cooking the shrimp, and they would be overcooked… and I was right. While cooling/chilling in the fridge, the ends of the beautiful, beautiful shrimp turned to icky mush. Not positive that was from overcooking – it could be the acid – but it was unappetizing, to say the least. (I ended up cutting the mushy ends off on all of the shrimp, a call I debated about but was glad to have done).

Right before serving, since I know my avocados (and their propensity to brown), I prepared the salsa.

I got lucky, and somehow manipulated my avocado into being absolutely perfect – soft enough to taste ripe, but firm enough to make a very fine dice (I won't go so far as to call it minced, even though it was supposed to be) and to stay that way, rather than turning into guacamole.

Then I speared each of the shrimp on a fork (using literally every fork I had in my house)

And spooned on some of the salsa and a tomato diamond.  Pretty, no?
Taste-wise, it was ok. The Avo salsa was amazing. I brought out some stale chips and everyone scarfed down the leftovers… the salsa totally made up for the gross chips. The shrimp was just lacking for me though. It was really bland, despite the high acid content of the court. It could have used a little more salt too (I'll call that user-error).

A survey produced mixed results, but nobody was like 'this is the best thing ever.' At the very least, everyone agreed it was an attractive (and for me, easy) appetizer, something that LOOKED really impressive. I can totally see myself bringing these to a party. That is, in my dreams, where I'm not too lazy/exhausted to just 'whip up' something like this while simultaneously getting dressed and made-up and trying to feed cranky toddler dinner.

I love my dreams.

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