shrimp lettuce wraps with pineapple salsa

When I started to make the salsa there was something familiar about it. I had made it before for the September 16th post! I must be losing my mind… Actually, the two recipes in the Light and Healthy cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen (2011) both use a pineapple salsa. Except this one adds jicama to it. I could not find jicama so I chopped up half a green apple and threw it in. If I was in my kitchen in Bangkok, I would have cut up a farang or guava instead. Originally called Shrimp Tacos, this is the low-cal version of a seafood taco: instead of refried beans, this “taco” is accompanied by mashed avocado. America’s Test Kitchen cooks advise you not to let the shrimp marinate for longer than 15 minutes or the acid marinade will begin to “cook” the shrimp and turn them rubbery. To lower the calories of this dish, I substituted iceberg lettuce for the corn tortillas. I liked the taste and the textures of this dish, a symphony of crisp crunchy lettuce, spicy grilled shrimp, and tangy-sweet salsa with avocado in the high notes.

1 medium ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)

Using a potato masher, mash the avocado with 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice until some chunks remain. Season with salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Pineapple-Green Apple Salsa
1/2 green apple, cored and stemmed, and cut into 1/4 inch pieces (10 oz jicama in original recipe)
10 ounces (1 1/2 cups) fresh pineapple cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1-2 jalapeño chilies, stemmed and minced (remove seeds if you want less heat)

Combine apple, pineapple, lime juice, cilantro, and jalapeño in a medium bowl. Season with salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

I was supposed to heat the spices but since I did not have ground coriander, I made a paste out of chopped fresh cilantro and the remaining spices. I left out the sugar as the purpose of adding it was to caramelize the shrimp, an unnecessary step to me.

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (1 teaspoon ground coriander in original recipe)
3-6 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar (I omit this)
1 1/2 pounds extra large frozen shrimp (21-25 per pound), peeled and deveined
Iceberg lettuce (12 x 6-inch corn tortillas in original recipe)

In the workbowl of a food processor, combine the cilantro, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne and set aside. Scrape the cilantro mixture into a large bowl and set aside.

Butterfly the shrimp. First, remove the shells over the tail, then split the curved back of the shrimp until you can open out both halves but not separate them. Butterflying helps the shrimp to cook faster and more evenly. Put the shrimp in the bowl with the cilantro mixture and toss to coat evenly. Thread the shrimp onto skewers and grill (2-4 minutes) or broil (10 minutes) until the shrimp turns opaque and just pink.

Serve at once with accompaniment and salsa. I served it with Asian Avocado Salad and in this way used up the large avocado I had bought and the other half of the green apple.

Per serving: Cal 410; Fat 14g; Sat fat 1.5g; Chol 170mg; Carb 45g; Protein 27g; Fiber 8g; Sodium 450mg (will vary because of the substitutions)

shrimp with pineapple salsa

At $11 a pound, salmon for dinner just wasn’t appealing. I decided to adjust this recipe for shrimp, which was a bit more appetizing, pricewise. I found the recipe in America’s Test Kitchen’s  Light and Healthy 2011: The Year’s Best Recipes Lightened Up.

1 1/4 cups fresh pineapple, chopped into tiny cubes
2 scallion, sliced thin
1-2 jalapeño chili pepper, minced (1 is hot enough for me; discard the seeds if less heat is desired)
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice (1/2 a lime)
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste (it doesn’t need it)

4 teaspoons agave syrup
1/4 teaspoon water

1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garam masala (allspice in original recipe)
salt to taste (it doesn’t need it)
12 large frozen shrimp, shelled and deveined with the tails still on, thawed

1. For the salsa: combine the pineapple, scallion, jalapeño, lime juice, and cilantro in a bowl. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. For the shrimp: Position an oven rack near the heating element and heat the broiler. Stir together the honey and water in a small bowl. In the workbowl of a food processor, add the chopped cilantro, ground ginger, garlic powder, black pepper, and garam masala. Add salt if using. Process until a fine paste. Scrape into a large bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat evenly. Thread shrimp onto skewers.

3. Broil shrimp until opaque and just pink, about 4-7 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the skewers and serve with the pineapple salsa. Oh, almost forgot to take the picture!