Drew Deckman, of Deckman's en el Mogor in Valle de Guadalupe in Mexico's lovely wine country, is one of those chefs who can do great things with the simplest ingredients.
That's exactly why we instantly loved Deckman's bright, crisp shrimp tostadas.
To cook the shrimp, Deckman slowly poaches the little guys, tosses them with fennel, cucumber, tomatoes, mint and cilantro, finally soaks them in fresh lime juice to further plump up and flavor the meat.
The shrimp mixture has a spicy, herby punch. Pair all that brightness with crunchy toasted tortillas and buttery avocado and you have the perfect summer snack.
Note: The key to this dish is making sure the shrimp and vegetables sit for 20 minutes before assembling the tostadas to allow all the flavors to come together.
To learn more, read "Down Mexico Way"
Shrimp Tostadas with Avocado, Radish and Cilantro
Recipe adapted from Drew Deckman, Deckman's en el Mogor, Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus marinating time
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes, plus marinating time
8 small corn tortillas
For the Shrimp:
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
1 pound large shell-on shrimp
For the Salad:
6 radishes, halved and thinly sliced
2 Serrano chiles, stemmed, with seeds removed, finely diced
1 cup diced fennel
1 ripe avocado, chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup diced cucumbers
½ cup diced white onion
½ cup roughly chopped mint
½ cup roughly chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
Juice from 6 limes
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. To make the tostadas, preheat the oven to 350°. Brush the tortillas with canola oil and bake until crisp, about 7 minutes.
2. Make the shrimp: Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onion and fennel and cook until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add the shrimp and poach until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and remove and discard the carrots, onion and fennel. Transfer the shrimp to a paper towel-lined sheet tray to dry. Once the shrimp have dried, peel and devein the shrimp and dice into half-inch pieces.
3. Make the salad: In a large mixing bowl, combine the shrimp with the remaining ingredients and toss. Season with salt and pepper and let the mixture marinate for 20 minutes so that the flavors can meld together.
4. To serve, divide the shrimp and salad mixture among the tostadas and garnish with cilantro.