Saturday, February 13, 2010

Xuxu and Shrimp with Chile and Lemon

Since I love playing with new ingredients, I was intrigued by this recipe calling for Xuxu. What the heck is a xuxu? Oh, well it's a chayote. Well what the heck is a chayote? See how much fun this is? (The picture above is of the chayotes.) Lucky for me I had seen chayotes at my fruit market and in fact I almost bought some once just to play. But this recipe found me instead.

Besides this fun new ingredient, the recipe calls for shrimp, artichoke hearts and jalapeños - three of my favorite ingredients. So this a simple and fun dinner that ends up tasting very flavorful but also light at the same time. It's a nice easy dinner and probably would be really great in summer.

Xuxu and Shrimp with Chile and Lemon
Serves 4

6 garlic cloves
3/4 cup chopped white onion
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh jalapeño, including seeds
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 medium xuxu (chayote; about 1 3/4 pound total)
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 (14-ounces) jar or can hearts of palm, rinsed well, patted dry, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup chopped cilantro

With motor running, drop garlic into a food processor and finely chop. Stop processor and add onion, jalapeño (to taste), lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, then pulse until finely chopped.

Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes for flavors to develop.
Peel xuxu if skin is tough. Cut xuxu off pit in slices, then cut into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks.

Toss shrimp with 1 teaspoon salt. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Sauté shrimp until just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Sauté xuxu in remaining tablespoon oil in skillet until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.

Return shrimp to skillet, then add hearts of palm and sauté until just heated through. Remove from heat and stir in chile-lemon sauce and cilantro.

No comments: