On Saturday at the Durham Farmers' Market, I found some small, round, sweet, slightly spicy Puerto Rican peppers like the ones I had at Jujube. Inspired by Charlie and Josh's dish at the 20 course tasting menu, I thought I'd buy the peppers and try my own version of the dish because I happened to have freezer full of shrimp from Ocracoke and I love these little peppers!
It turned out well, especially the shrimp, but the peppers were not quite as delicious as the ones made by the geniuses at Jujube. They were still good. I think I didn't get the oil hot enough and I let the skins on the peppers get a little brown which made them somewhat bitter, I think. Not sure though.
Gambas a la plancha:
24 shrimp not peeled (shrimp cooked w/ the skin on is SO MUCH BETTER)
juice from 1 lemon
1/2 c. olive oil
salt and pepper
several Puerto Rican peppers (they have another name but I forgot it)
Rinse the shrimp and pat dry. Whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil until emulsified. Add salt and pepper. You could add some minced garlic too. Stir in the shrimp until they are well-coated.
Heat a cast iron skillet until it is very hot. Add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook shrimp for 1 minute on each side and then for another minute or two. Remove to a plate. Cook shrimp in batches and hold in a warm oven.
Once all the shrimp are cooked, add canola oil to the pan, enough for about 1/2 inch of oil in the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the peppers. Cook for a minute or two until the skin blisters. Remove to a plate to drain the oil from the peppers.
Arrange some shrimp and a couple of peppers on each plate and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with some olive oil if you like. Be sure to give your guests big napkins because peeling the shrimp is messy!
I am thinking of what else to do with the little, fried peppers. They might be good served on a plate w/ a slice of fresh goat cheese, drizzled with oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. Next time I find some, I will try this. I am determined to perfect cooking these peppers.