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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Potato Cakes with Mango Chimichurri and Pan Seared Butter Shrimp

Less than 30 minutes from brain to table...

I don't know about you, but starch is my personal friend. So is oil. Come to think of it, this plate has just a bunch of my close friends - spice, shrimp, mango, sour, the list goes on. I think the plating is off though. Maybe I should have stacked the mango on the potato cake, and the shrimp on the mango? Or maybe the shrimp on one potato cake and add diced mango on top, surrounded by chimichurri? Who knows.

Anyway, I wasn't exactly sure how the potato cakes would turn out, since this was a first time experiment for me. I also knew I wanted something with a punch to dip the cakes into, and I had some fresh Italian parsley on hand - chimichurri was a logical choice. Also fresh mango? Why not.

Potato Cakes:

3 large potatoes, skinned, washed, and shredded using a large cheese grater. Grate those into a bowl and have a colander ready. You want to wash the starch off, so you're going to soak the potatoes for a few minutes, then run them into the colander with fresh water running over, then back in to the bowl. Repeat the cycle a couple of times until the water runs clear. Drain them well, and dry them with a towel. Set aside, but use within 15 minutes, or they're gonna turn pink, green and nasty.

Pour about 1/4 cup of flour into a large bowl. Add cold water slowly, mixing as it goes in. You're making a batter that runs with the consistency of a pancake batter but slightly runnier. This is a trial and error task. It's maybe 50-50 water flour, but possibly less water. Blend well, breaking up all flour chunks.

Now stir in ample amounts of salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Mix well.

Meanwhile, grate 1/2 onion and 1/4 carrot into the mixture bowl. Add one beaten egg. Mix well.

Now take handfuls of potatoes at a time and mix into your master bowl. You won't necessarily want to add all the potatoes, but add them handfuls at a time, mixing all the time. You want a consistency where the potatoes clump together, but it's still slightly runny. This is not a dry mixture- it is very wet.

Heat vegetable oil on medium-high at about 1" until hot. Drop large spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the pan, forming into a small cake with your spoon as you go. I used a 16" pan and only did three at a don't want to crowd or it will lower the oil temperature too much.

Fry about 3 minutes per side until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and plate up.

Mango Chimichurri:

Get a blender ready and add the following:

1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 olive oil
2 small handfuls of Italian parsley, chopped
1/3 of a ripe mango, diced
4 cloves garlic, through a press
salt and pepper

Blend well and set aside. Blend again before using or you might have froth develop and separation occur. I kept mine in the blender pending use.

Pan Seared Butter Shrimp:

8-10 shrimp. Add salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, dried oregano and basil. Stir and mix well. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Heat 3 Tbs butter to medium-high and foaming. Add shrimp and increase heat to high, frying up a couple of minutes. DON'T OVERCOOK! Remove the shrimp to plate and drizzle oil atop.


~ Brock

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