Friday, 23 September 2016

Shrimp jibarito


A few years ago my sister and I were both interns in Manhattan at different city departments. She was with NYC media, and me with the department of city planning.  It was amazing that our offices were within walking distance from each other because that meant daily lunch dates. We had Italian, so much Cuban, food trucks, Chinese, you name it we had it. After a while we realized that this daily lunch thing was wreaking havoc on our pockets so we decided to carry lunch and have it in the park. Before we opted out of the lunch restaurant hopping scene, We had our first Jibarito at a Puerto Rican restaurant named Sazon.

A jibarito is a Puerto Rican sandwich with veggies,cheese and meat (usually beef, pork or chicken) with two fried green plantains instead of the usual bread. Sazon serves a Jibarito de pollo; onions, roasted peppers, queso blanco, tomato avocado and of course chicken. It was absolutely delicious and I thought it was super cool to use fried green plantains as a vehicle for a sandwich. As Jamaicans we eat fried green plantains all the time, but we don’t exactly make jerk chicken sandwiches with them lol.  I locked this one away and the idea came rushing back to me all of 6 years later.

I was not about to do a chicken jibarito, I needed a seafood sandwich, so shrimp was a natural choice. The only two things I knew for a fact was that
  1.  I wanted a very rich garlicky sauce smothered all over the shrimp.
  2. I wanted to use bacon to infuse the sauce in some way
Both goals were met; I found it very interesting how the plantain really felt like bread. It had all the elements, firm, absorbent and slightly dry. Over all, the sandwich is very delicious extremely flavorful and you will most definitely need a napkin.

Ingredients (printable recipe)

For the shrimp
1 lb. shrimp peeled and deveined
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon oil
For the sauce
2 tablespoon coconut oil
8 strips bacon
½ cup onion chopped
1 clove garlic shredded
1 cup chopped tomato
1 ½ cup white wine
½ cup heavy cream
1 bouillon cube
1 tablespoon honey
For the plantains
2-3 green plantains
Oil for frying
Salt (to taste)
½ teaspoon Onion powder
Red onion


For the shrimp
  • Season the shrimp with salt, onion powder, smoked paprika and oil
  • Grill on a hot grill 1-2 minute per side, remove when charred and place in a bowl
For the sauce
  • Preheat the oven to 475 degrees
  • Bake the bacon until it just begins to crisp and is cooked
  • Remove from oven and slice as thinly as possible
  • Add coconut oil to a sauce pan and on low heat sauté onion, tomato and garlic
  • You want the veggies to sweat down then add the bouillon cube and continue to sauté
  • Add the white wine and honey then turn the heat to high and allow it to cook while the sauce reduces
  • Once it reduces to a thick consistency add the cream and mix just until its incorporated
  • Pour the contents into a blender and blend until smooth
  • return back to the pan and add the chopped bacon, heat should be a low simmer
  • The sauce will become very rich and thick after a few minutes, at this point, add the shrimp and give it a few tosses
  • Set the saucy shrimp aside
For the Plantain
  • Green plantains are double fried for the first fry bring a pan with oil to medium heat
  • Peel the green plantain by slicing the skin and then peeling it back with your hands like a banana (it will be a bit more difficult)
  • Once the oil is hot place the whole plantain in the pot and fry on all sides
  • It will become golden brown and crispy on the outsides like a chip
  • Remove from the oil slice the plantain in half (the short way)
  • Using a plate or any large flat instrument press down against the plantain halves one at a time
  • Repeat until you have flattened all the plantain halves
  • sprinkle with salt and onion powder
  • For the second fry turn the heat to high and fry the plantain for about a minute per side until its extra crispy and golden
  • Remove from heat and place on a cooling rack
  • To assemble sandwich
  • Slice red onion paper thin
  • Slice tomatoes
  • Using plantain halves in lieu of bread make sandwiches using plantain shrimp, tomato and onions
Greedy tips
  • If you want a thinner plantain, for the first fry instead of frying them whole, slice them longitudinally and continue with the recipe. 

Xoxo Greedygirl

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