July 22, 2013

Camarones Henesy En Hamaca

For a couple weekends the big to do for us was visiting Buchanan's Native Plants to grab hot dogs. Sounds strange I know but it wasn't the nursery that made the hot dogs. It's a food truck parked inside the gates of the nursery on Sundays, Good Dog Food Truck. I ordered the Guac-A-Dog and Truck-made Chips every time. Those chips are addicting!

One weekend we arrived early and needed to kill some time. While meandering into their shop I came across a tomato scented candle, pomegranate hand lotion, and after a recommendation from the worker a new cookbook, Houston Small Plates & Sips by Erin M. Hicks.

The instant I walked through the door I put my stuff down and began flipping through the cookbook. Every recipe looks amazing, however, I was overwhelmed with the recipes from 4-star restaurants around the Houston area. Would this be above my culinary level?

My favorite errand to run on the weekend is a grocery trip to restock the fridge and pantry at Whole Foods (a.k.a. "Whole Paycheck"). I decided to pick the recipe from Boada Cuisine for the Camarones Henesy En Hamaca and paired the dish with a Margherita Pizza (recipe to come another day) after reading a review on Yelp. I had to google translate the name of the recipe not realizing that Henesy was the restaurant owner's last name. It loosely translates to "shrimp in a hammock". We loaded up the cart with all of the ingredients and more.

I've never been more flustered putting together a dinner. It was my first time using a pizza stone, hearts of palm and plantains. More detail on the pizza stone fiasco when I write that post. Hearts of palm? What is that? I still don't know. Too lazy to Wikipedia it. I stressed myself out. "How would this taste? Do these flavors really go well together? Ginger juice, soy sauce, wine..."

I'm a taster as I cook. Each step I have to see how the flavor develops. I didn't give it a try until I began adding the liquids. The sauce was mind blowing. Absolutely delicious. I was practically doing backflips in the kitchen. Bottle that up and let me drink it straight. I don't believe the hearts of palm brought anything to the dish and the plantains were not tasty to me. I will make this again but I will leave out the plantain portion and hearts of palm and instead serve this over a bed of noodles. The glasses of wine for dessert are a definite repeat performance. Ha!

Camarones Henesy En Hamaca
Makes 6 Servings

Stars of the Show:
  • 18 ripe plantain, 3/4-inch slices (about 3 plantains)
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 18 large shrimp, peeled and deveined - The cookbook recommended 16/20 shrimp.
  • 1 cup hearts of palm, sliced
  • 1 1/3 tbsp capers - I used capers in salt.
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1 1/3 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro 
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp ginger juice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine - I did not use dry white wine. Instead I used Moscato since I had it on hand.
And Action:

Melt 2 tbsp of the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the plantains, fry until golden on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 30 seconds. Add the hearts of palm, capers, tomatoes, garlic, parsley, cilantro, red pepper flakes and sugar and cook for 1 minute, stirring to combine.

Stir in the chicken broth, soy sauce, ginger juice and wine and cook for an additional minute. Add the remaining butter and stir until incorporated.

Place 3 plantain slices on each plate. Top the plantain slices with the shrimp and sauce.


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