Monday, March 9, 2009

Cocktail d'agrumes, crevettes, et avocat

This can be roughly translated as "Shrimp & Citrus Cocktail with Avocado". It's something that Chef Laurent Chareau presented at the Deauville Omnivore Food Festival last month (see photo at bottom of post). As he was preparing it, my mouth was salivating....honestly, it was uncontrollable. I mean, these are the tastes & flavors that I absolutely adore! I couldn't wait to try this one at home. He didn't present a specific recipe as much as simply throwing together the dish. The concept is very simple, as you'll see. Here's my interpretation:

Shrimp & Citrus Salad with Purée of Avocado
(inspired by Chef Chareau; interpreted by me)
4 servings

Salade Part
2 grapefruit
1 navel orange
1 blood orange
1 lemon
16 decent sized shrimp
1/4 small red onion, diced finely
fresh herbs (flat parsley, cilantro or mint) - chopped

Section the citrus so you have no skin or pith. (Resist the urge at this point to eat all of your hard work....the oranges & grapefruit sections will look and smell sooo good.) Leave the orange & grapefruit sections whole, but dice the lemon. Peel & de-vein the shrimp. Cook the shrimp if raw (BBQ anyone?). We are BBQ-deprived here, so we buy them already cooked at the local outdoor market. They are super fresh & very good. Put the citrus sections & shrimp in a bowl. Reserve the extra juice, or just drink it while nobody's looking! Add the red onion & fresh herb. (I'm especially partial to the mint....) Add vinaigrette just before serving - enough to generously coat all the fruit & shrimp.

olive oil
vinegar (balsamic) or lime juice
ginger, lemongrass, garlic clove (optional)
soy sauce (optional)

Put your preferred acidic liquid in bowl (vinegar or lime/lemon juice/citrus juice). Add salt. Add chunk of peeled ginger, lemongrass & garlic clove to infuse. Wisk in olive oil (use 3-4 times more olive oil to the quantity of vinegar you have.) Filter solids before using. Make sure it's got a good acidic tone. Throw in some soy sauce if you like. (I did.) Vinaigrette should be a somewhat thick consistency.

Avocado Purée part
3 medium avocados
lemon juice
cumin, tabasco sauce, salt & pepper (piment d'espelette preferably) - to taste

Remove pits & pulp from avocados. Squeeze lemon juice over the avocado to help prevent it from darkening in color. Use a hand blender & mix until the consistency is smooth. Season as you like with tabasco sauce, cumin & salt/pepper. (Careful with the cumin....not too much otherwise it can overpower all the other flavors, in my opinion). Resist the urge to eat spoonfuls of the's so tempting, but you're almost there. Only the assembly left!

  1. In a martini glass or other glass - put layer of shrimp/citrus salad on the bottom. Season. Add layer of avocado purée. Sprinkle with piment d'esplette or spicy/smoked paprika.

  2. Decorate the avocado purée with anything crispy. I used fried carrots in the "martini glass" and then I tried roasted hazelnuts. Chef Chareau used rice crispies fried in saffron butter and he also used roughly chopped roasted cashews (two different dishes). I would love to try the rice crispies...doesn't that sound kind of funny?

  3. Instead of a martini glass, you can use a regular plate (shown here with hazelnut topping):

This is every bit as good as it sounded. In fact, Eric & I each had one as an entrée (first course) last night, and then proceeded to immediately assemble a 2nd one instead of refrigerating the left-overs! One was plenty-enough.....we just couldn't help ourselves. This is a wonderfully, light-tasting first course. The acidity from the citrus mixed with the sweetness of the shrimp mixed with the richness of the ever-so-slightly seasoned a great blending of flavors. I will make this again and again....with pleasure. Thanks Chef for sharing this great idea with us.

OFF4 - 2009 Chef Chareau Demo

Chef Chareau's Cocktail d'agrumes, crevettes & Avocat



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