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Salad of Grilled White Shrimp, Corn, Avocado and Roasted Chiles in a Lime Vinaigrette

Image of Grilled White Shrimp, Corn, Avocado and Roasted Chiles in a Lime Vinaigrette
By Heidi Allison

This salad is a paean to the bold, fresh flavors of Mexico—with grilled, chile-marinated, sweet white shrimp layered over a sweet corn and roasted chile salad, dressed in gar-licky lime vinaigrette. Healthy and filling, this salad is also quick and easy to prepare—most of the prep time is brining and marinating, which you don't need culinary prowess to do. The grilling takes less than 10 minutes—that works on any weeknight! If you are short on time, make the corn salad, sans the avocado and fresh cilantro, the night be-fore, then incorporate these two items right before serving, which keeps the avocado from turning brown, and the cilantro looking fresh, green and bright.

A crucial step is properly cleaning of the shrimp before marinating: the shrimp is initially cleaned in a salt water brine, which removes impurities —leaving shrimp smelling as fresh as the ocean. Do not skip this step, and, make sure to rinse the shrimp several times with cool water after the brine period of 5 minutes —you will be amazed at the difference in both the taste and texture of the shrimp in the finished dish—-worth the effort!

The shrimp is then marinated in tequila, fresh lime, guajillo chile, and — lots of garlic. The guajillo chile provides the perfect complementary flavor to the sweet taste of the shrimp — earthy, with a slightly sweet flavor reminiscent of berry, and, a low heat level that will not overpower delicate seafood. This red-colored, workhouse chile of the Mex-ican kitchen also imparts a beautiful color to the shrimp.

The creamy avocado enhances the sweetness of the white shrimp and fresh corn, while the roasted chiles add a kick. If the corn is not in season, use this culinary trick — do not boil the corn (toughens its protein) and add 1 tablespoon of sugar to the cooking water.

If you are sensitive to the heat of chiles, use mild Hatch Chiles, or 1 seeded Jalapeño — omit the fiery Fresno.

Salad of Grilled White Shrimp, Corn, Avocado and Roasted Chiles in a Lime Vinaigrette
Serves: 2 as an entree; 4 as a side

Ingredients for Grilled Shrimp

1 pound of medium White Shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ cup Kosher Flake Salt
Garlic flavored Avocado Oil

Shrimp Marinade

3 cloves Garlic, peeled, smashed and roughly chopped
1 ounce Tequila
2 Limes, juiced
1 ounces Olive Oil
1 heaping teaspoon of Guajillo Chile Powder

Shrimp preparation
Image of shrimp marinade
Rinse and drain with cool water. Place 1 cup of room temperature water in a bowl and add 1 Tbsp. Kosher flake salt, then mix to dissolve salt. Add shrimp and allow to sit in salt water for 5 minutes (no less or more) and mix gently. After 5 minutes, drain and rinse with cool water three times. Drain shrimp.

Make shrimp marinade by placing garlic, tequila, lime juice olive oil and guajillo chile powder in a bowl and stir. Add cleaned shrimp, and allow to sit in marinade for 15 minutes.

Corn Salad
Makes 1 cup

2 ears for Fresh Corn, peeled
1 Hatch Chile, roasted, peeled, seeded and cut in julienne strips (can sub with Jalapeño)
1 Red Fresno Chile, roasted, peeled, seeded and cut in julienne strips
1 medium Hass Avocado, cut in half, seed removed and cut into ¼ inch cubes
1 ounce Olive Oil
Juice of 2 Limes
3 Tablespoon Cilantro Leaves, minced
Kosher Flake Salt, to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Salad
1 head of Organic Bibb Lettuce, washed and chilled

Preparation

Place a large pot of water on medium heat and bring to a boil. Add sugar if corn is not picked that day. Add corn and allow water to return to a boil. Immediately turn off heat and cover. Allow corn to sit in hot water for at least 15 minutes.

Remove corn and cut kernel off cob and place in a bowl. Add remainder of ingredients and toss.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble salad.
Image of grilling shrimp
Heat a cast-iron grill on medium-high heat until smoking.

Lightly film with avocado- oil and cook until char marked form—about 2 minutes.

Turn when char marks form and film again with avocado oil. Cook until shrimp is no longer transparent—about 2 minutes.
Image of Salad of Grilled White Shrimp, Corn, Avocado and Roasted Chiles in a Lime Vinaigrette
Remove shrimp from grill and set aside.

Place 4-5 large, Bibb lettuce leaves on a chilled plate and top with 1 half of corn and roasted chili salad; then top with grilled shrimp. Repeat with remainder of ingredients and serve immediately.
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