Chile-Marinated Shrimp with Corn Esquites

2016 Chefs to Watch - Chef Gabriel Balderas, Chile-Marinated Shrimp with Corn Esquites
2016 Chefs to Watch - Chef Gabriel Balderas, Chile Marinated Shrimp with Corn Esquites

With El Cabo Verde, 2016 Chef to Watch Gabriel Balderas is getting back to his roots with authentic Mexican street food. “We like to incorporate a Mexican touch to Louisiana ingredients. To me, they’re so similar,” he says. The menu includes items like posole with collard greens, and ceviche with Louisiana shrimp. These Chile-Marinated Shrimp with Corn Esquites, a riff on the popular street corn, features locally grown corn and Louisiana shrimp.

Chile-Marinated Louisiana Shrimp with Corn Esquites
Serves 4
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  1. 1 large egg yolk
  2. 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  3. 3 teaspoons salt, divided
  4. 1¼ cups olive oil, divided
  5. 3 cups water, divided
  6. 2 cups fresh sweet corn kernels, rinsed and drained
  7. 1 sprig dried epazote
  8. ¼ teaspoon Mexican chili powder
  9. 2 ounces dried chile de árbol, seeded
  10. 2 ounces dried guajillo peppers, seeded
  11. 2 ounces fresh onion, chopped
  12. 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  13. ½ pound peeled and deveined large fresh shrimp (tails left on)
  14. 1 cup grated aged Manchego or crumbled Cotija cheese
  15. Garnish: chili powder, fresh lime juice, fresh cilantro sprigs, thinly sliced serrano peppers
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolk, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon salt. Slowly add 1 cup oil, whisking constantly, until emulsified. Add additional salt, to taste. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups water, corn, epazote, chili powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes. Add additional salt, to taste. Drain and reserve.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine chile de árbol, guajillo pepper, onion, oregano, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1 cup water. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Transfer to the container of a blender, and process until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, and add additional salt, to taste. In a large bowl, combine chile mixture and shrimp; cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
  4. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat; add remaining ¼ cup oil. Add shrimp, and cook for 2 minutes per side; set aside. Divide corn among four bowls, and top each with 1 tablespoon reserved lime aïoli. Top each with shrimp. Top with cheese. Garnish with chili powder, lime juice, cilantro, and serrano peppers, if desired.
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