I have an old friend and mentor who once gave me a list of words to live by, things like “My credibility is my word,” “I will always do my best” and this one: “Never make assumptions.”
In the cooking world (as with the rest of life) they can be tough but oh so important words to live by.
Take this spicy shrimp recipe, for example. When I saw the amount of allspice that it called for I made the assumption that it was way too much and I cut it in half right off the bat.
But then I cooked a test shrimp. Hmmm, a little bland, needs a bit more…um, spice….
A simple reminder.
This dish will catch everyone off guard because the flavours are so unexpected. People will assume that there is some sort of chili powder mixture on the shrimp (see what I mean). And then they’ll drag the shrimp through the extra creamy avocado sauce, pop it in their mouth and be completely surprised and amazed.
Please do serve this shrimp with the avocado sauce recipe below, or even a basic guacamole (with a good squeeze of lime).
It works great as an easy and impressive appetizer but makes a nice main dish too, along with a salad and rice.
Spicy shrimp recipe with citrus avocado sauce
(torn out of a Food & Wine magazine back in 2002)
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. grated orange zest
- 1 Tbsp. allspice
- 1 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
- 2 tsp. lime zest
- 2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled with tails left on
- Sea salt and pepper
- Combine all ingredients except shrimp, in a large bowl and mix well. Add shrimp and toss to coat. (I like to use my hands for this part).
- Let rest at room temperature for 15 minutes or in the fridge for 30 minutes. (While the shrimp is marinating mix up the avocado sauce.)
- To cook the shrimp: sauté in a large pan over medium high heat until pink, turning once. (Do this in 2-3 batches).
- Or grill over medium heat
Citrus avocado sauce
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 Tbsp orange juice
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
- Sea salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- In a blender or food processor puree the avocado, garlic orange and lime juice.
- Season with salt & pepper then gently blend in the olive oil.
If spicy shrimp is your thing try our spicy Cajun shrimp recipe