Nothing better, nothing easier! Yucatan style shrimp gets it's wonderful flavour from Achiote Paste (annatto seed). It's a Mayan classic I learnt while visiting my brother Roberto at his family's Yucatan Beach House in Chuburna, north of Merida. It's fast and furious and guaranteed to make your mouth water! First step - make Arroz a la Mexicana (Mexican Rice) and in the 20 minutes it takes to cook long grain rice the shrimp are ready to be devoured!
The All Accordin' Recipe is as follows:
2 pounds of shrimp
6 tablespoons achiote paste, available in most Latin markets or online
1 cup fresh orange juice, (or whatcha got on hand)
Juice of three freshly squeezed limes
1 onion finely minced
2 cloves of garlic finely minced
For heat add Chile Powder (I use ground Habanero)
Fresh ground pepper
Mix all ingredients (except shrimp) in a bowl dissolving the paste into the citrus juices. Then toss in shrimp, Cover well and let marinate until your pan is ripping hot. Add a little oil, once it smokes add shrimp (without marinade). As the shrimp take colour hit the pan with a splash of marinade! Cook 'til done (al gusto). Everyone likes them done to varying degrees. I prefer them golden & just barely done through. Others want them well done, suit yourself. Isn't that what it's all about?
Serve piled high on steaming rice and always with cold, cold beer. Remember plenty of napkins as this is a hands-on feast!
Nota Bene: Be aware of carry-over cooking. In the case of fish & seafood it's crucial; food continues to cook on the plate after it's removed from the heat source. Pull shrimp when just under the point you prefer for better results & greater enjoyment.
Copyright © Mick Huerta 2011. All Rights Reserved.
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