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Peruvian Shrimp with Aji Verde Sauce

This Peruvian inspired shrimp is currently one of my most requested dishes and by most requested, I mean that people basically command me to make this for dinner when they come over.

The aji sauce is usually served with rotisserie chicken but I like with everything from french fries or roasted potatoes to fish. The herb marinated shrimp cooked in lots of butter puts this rich sauce right over the edge and the drizzle of crema de rocoto complements all that richness with a hit of acidic heat. 

The sauce is totally addictive,  the dish looks way harder to make than it was to make which is always a plus and it's a really great introduction to some fabulous Peruvian ingredients like aji amarillo paste, made from a yellow pepper only found in Peru (medium to slightly hot) and rocoto, another paste made from a hot, red chili pepper grown mainly in the Andes from Chile to Columbia.

Peruvian Shrimp with Aji Verde Sauce

4 servings

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 fresh poblano chilis, roasted, stemmed, seeded and peeled (0r you can use canned poblano chilis)
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp kosher salt

12 U-15 Shrimp
2 tbls butter

Combine all marinade ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree. Transfer to a non reactive bowl, add shrimp, cover and refrigerate overnight. If at all possible, try to make it in the morning and let it marinate all day if you can't do it the night before.

Aji Verde Sauce:
2 fresh jalapenos, including seeds and ribs if you like it spicy, chopped (remove seeds if not)
1 tbls aji amarillo paste
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbls grated cojitas cheese, parmesan or even a dry feta will work
1 medium clove garlic, minced or grated
1 tbls vegetable oil
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp juice from 1 lime
1/2 cup mayonnaise
koshers salt and black pepper to taste

Combine jalapenos, aji amarillo, cilantro, cheese, garlic, oil, vinegar and lime juice in a blender or small food processor. Blend on high speed until a smooth paste forms. Add mayo and blend until smooth and fully incorporated. Transfer to a bowl, taste and season with a bit of salt and pepper to taste.

Crema de Rocoto:
2 tbls white vinegar
2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
2/3 cup vegetable oil  oil
1 small stock of celery, chopped
1/4 of a red onion, chopped
1 tbls aji rocoto paste
juice of 2
salt and pepper to taste

Put everything in a blender or food processor and blend until completely pureed


Take your shrimp out of the marinade (don't remove any marinade that clings to the shrimp) and heat up the butter in a hot pan until it starts to froth and add in the shrimp and cook for about 4-5 minutes, turning often, until cooked through.

To plate, put a smear of the Aji Verde Sauce on a plate and place 3 cooked shrimp on top. Drizzle with about a tbls or two of the Crema de Rocoto

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