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Casarita Camaron with Cilantro Sauce

Source: San Antonio Express-News 06/06/2001 - Casarita's Restaurant, San Antonio, Texas

12 large (16/20 count) shrimp
12 thin slices jalape?o (or serrano) chile
12 thin-sliced bacon strips

Marinade
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 clove fresh garlic, finely chopped

Cilantro Sauce
1 large white onion, chopped
1 large bunch cilantro, washed
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons white wine
1 teaspoon chicken base (bouillon)
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Garnish
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Prepare shrimp: Rinse shrimp with cold water. Remove the shell, but leave the tail portion intact. Devein and rinse. With a sharp knife, cut the shrimp along the inner, underneath side; do not cut completely through to the top of the shrimp. Place one piece jalape?o inside cavity of shrimp. Wrap one strip of the bacon around the shrimp body (not the tail). Fasten with toothpicks or thread shrimp onto a metal skewer. Repeat with remaining shrimp and place them in a flat glass, ceramic or stainless steel dish.

For Marinade: Combine all ingredients and pour marinade over the shrimp, coating all sides; cover, and set in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours until ready to cook.

For Cilantro Sauce: Place onion and cilantro in a steamer basket, place over boiling water and cover. Let steam for 12 to 15 minutes, or until onions are very soft. Transfer to a sieve (or use a food mill), set over a bowl, then extract juices and puree solids of onions and cilantro by pressing mixture through sieve with a large spoon or pestle. Scrape any solids from the underside of sieve into juice. Pour heavy cream into a saucepan and whisk in onion and cilantro juices. Add wine, chicken base, seasoning salt, and garlic powder and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Let simmer for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Cook shrimp on a grill over a medium flame. If bacon grease causes a flame up, squirt flames with cold water or shift them quickly to a cooler part of the grill until the fire has subsided. Turn once, cooking just until the bacon is crisp and the shrimp are cooked through, about 4 to 7 minutes. Serve shrimp immediately, topped with Cilantro Sauce and garnished with chopped cilantro.



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