Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Almond & Cinnamon Shrimp with Avocado Mousse

At the beginning of May, a pirate named Clive came from London to visit my sister. While he was here, we threw a California cuisine-themed party to celebrate—for the party I made Almond and Cinnamon Shrimp with Avocado Mousse. This appetizer vanished within minutes of being placed on the table. The shrimp is both spicy and sweet (but not too sweet) at the same time, and the mousse, while it looks like guacamole, is creamier, providing balance for the cayenne in the shrimp.

A few days after the party, there was further reason to celebrate. Clive proposed, and he and Julie are getting married in August.

Almond and Cinnamon Shrimp with Avocado Mousse
From the Almond Board of California/Chef Tammy Hunyh, Tamarine Restaurant, Palo Alto, California

Ingredients for shrimp:

- 1 lb large shrimp (13 to 16 per pound), peeled and deveined
- 1/2 tsp Saigon cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 cup sliced almonds, chopped
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- salt and pepper


1) Combine shrimp, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt and pepper and toss to mix.

2) Heat 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a medium pan.

3) Add half of the shrimp to the pan and sauté over medium-high heat until cooked, about 1 minute on each side.

4) Immediately dip shrimp into almonds to coat.

5) Repeat with remaining butter and shrimp.

6) Serve warm with avocado mousse.

Ingredients for avacado mousse:

- 1 ripe Haas avocado, pitted and peeled
- 1 Tbsp crème fraiche
- 1 tsp mayonnaise
- 2 tsp fresh lime juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar


Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend well.

Note on cinnamon:
Vietnamese (Saigon) cinnamon is not essential, but if you can get your hands on it, I recommend it. It has a softness that adds a silken quality to this dish.

Note on amount:
I doubled this recipe, and next time I think I'll triple it!

Clive & Julie

(Clive is actually an actor who played one of Davy Jones’ pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean. But it’s just so much fun to say that my brother-in-law-to-be is a pirate!)


Pictures by Julie Fay. Check out more at Julie’s website.