Shrimp with Tequila and White Cornmeal Sauce
Author Jonathan Kandell sampled this appetizer at Fonda la Medina, a restaurant in Adobe, a now-shuttered Tlaquepaque folklore bazaar.
Yield: serves 6
FOR THE SALSA BLANCA:
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tbsp. minced white onion
- 1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 2 1⁄2 tbsp. masa harina
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE SHRIMP:
- 18 large raw shrimp
- 6 tbsp. queso fresco (preferably oaxaca), crumbled
- 18 slices bacon
- 2 tsp. vegetable oil
- 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1⁄2 cup tequila
- For the salsa blanca, combine milk, onions, and garlic in a medium saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Melt butter in a separate saucepan over medium heat. Add masa harina to butter, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it has absorbed butter, about 2 minutes. Strain milk, then slowly add to masa harina mixture, whisking constantly. Cook until sauce thickens, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place plastic wrap directly on surface of sauce to prevent a skin from forming and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425°. Peel shrimp (leaving tail attached), then butterfly and devein.
- Place 1 tsp. queso fresco in center of each shrimp, then fold closed. Wrap 1 slice bacon tightly around each shrimp, starting at tail end. Place shrimp on a baking sheet and bake until bacon just crisps, 10-12 minutes.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add shrimp and tequila, toss, and cook about 1 minute more. To serve, divide shrimp between 6 plates and spoon salsa blanca on top.