There are times in this household when a single ingredient drives a meal and that was the situation last week. The grocery store had tomatillos on sale. Now to begin with, they don’t always have tomatillos in stock. When they are there, the quality is not always what I want. In this case, they were nice and I grabbed extra, not entirely certain of what I was going to do with them. Ah ha, it came to me. This was a few days after my wonderful foray to Olive Morada (http://olivemorada.com) and one of the oils I bought was cilantro and roasted garlic. We always keep tail-on, frozen unshelled shrimp on hand and of course there are onions, garlic, and limes. I did the quick thaw on the shrimp, peeled them, rinsed them, patted them dry, and put them in a plastic container. Poured in 1 TBS of the flavored olive oil, 1 TBS tequila, and 3 or 4 grinds of black pepper. Put a lid on and shook the container to coat the shrimp, then left them in the fridge for a few hours.
Later, I turned the oven to 400 and lined a cookie sheet with foil. Quartered the 6 tomatillos, sliced half a medium red onion, sliced 1 jalapeno, and put everything on the cookie sheet. I drizzled with the flavored oil, sprinkled with smoked sea salt (about 1 tsp) and 2 or 3 grinds of fresh pepper. I stirred everything around to mix and coat with olive oil, ending up with a flat layer on the cookie sheet. I peeled two cloves of garlic, drizzled the garlic with a little of the flavored oil, wrapped them in a small piece of foil and placed that in the corner of the cookie sheet. (Garlic will burn faster than the other items roast and enclosing it completely in foil prevents the problem) I roasted everything for 20-25 minutes, removed the cookie sheet, took the garlic out of the little packet and dumped it in with the tomatillos and onions. Then I simply folded the foil up into a packet to let the steam work on the mixture. You can do this step ahead of time like I did if you want. The roasted mixture can sit in the foil for hours.
I like to take shrimp out of the fridge 30 minutes before I cook it. I heated a skillet on medium-high heat, added one more TBS of the flavored oil, and sautéed the shrimp for about 4 minutes, turning them once. I removed them from the skillet onto a plate, turned the heat to medium-low and dumped the contents of the foil packet into the skillet. I added 2 TBS of tequila, 1 TBS lime juice, 1/3 cup of chicken stock (you can use veggie or seafood stock, too) and used the stick blender to create a sauce. (If you don’t have a stick blender, you can use a regular blender or dice the veggies before you roast them. They’ll break down more while roasting). As soon as the sauce was blended, I put the shrimp back in, stirred thoroughly and cooked the shrimp for one more minute. You can cook for up to three more minutes, but not much beyond that or you risk the shrimp being rubbery.
There are several steps, but they’re all pretty quick and the dish has a great flavor. You can add more jalapenos or use dashes of your favorite hot sauce if you want to spice it up.