Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Grilled Shrimp and Chayote Salad with Chili Garlic Sauce 

So what is a chayote? It’s a squash, or “vegetable pear”. The outside is green and pear-shaped; the inside is white and has a crisp texture. It has been cultivated in Mexico since pre-Columbian days, but is now eaten in many places around the world.

This recipe is inspired by one that I found on “Food and Wine”. I made it for lunch today to get my 2 points for eating a new vegetable for the Paleo Challenge. I loved the taste and texture of the chayote when it was cooked. It resembles apple slices, and softens as apple slices would when you heat them up.

This sounds like an odd combination of ingredients. But, the Portobello mushrooms add heartiness to the recipe that compliment the spicy sweetness of the sauce and the texture of the shrimp.

½ cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons tamari sauce
2 teaspoons Asian chili-garlic sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 onion, peeled, ¼” slices
2 Portabello mushrooms, ½” slices
½ pound chayote, halved lengthwise, pitted, cut into 24 slices
1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled
¼ olive oil
Sea salt and pepper

To Prepare
Combine the orange juice, tamari sauce, chili-garlic sauce, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet to medium-hot.

Brush the vegetables and shrimp with olive oil. Place the mushrooms in a single layer on the hot pan and cook for several minutes. Flip over, and cook until they are browned and juicy. Remove to a large bowl. Now place the onions and the chayote slices in a single layer in the skillet. Cook about 3 minutes each side. (The onions should begin to lose their shape and start to brown. The chayote should be tender when pierced with a fork.) Place in the same bowl as the mushrooms. Pour about 3 tablespoons of the orange mixture over the vegetables, and season with salt and pepper. Toss gently.

Grill the shrimp until they just turn pink, turning them during the cooking time. (About 3 minutes.)

Place a serving of the vegetables onto a plate. Top with some shrimp. Pour additional orange sauce over the top. 

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