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June 11, 2012

Fried Shrimp Flatbreads with Spicy Cardamom Sauce

I found this recipe in the Food and Wine magazine (which I subscribe to, and recommend you also do if you're a foodie and love to cook). It's a recreation of something in a restaurant in L.A. and I was a little skeptical at first. I mean, there are so many strong flavors in this recipe, including some strong Indian spices. But once it's all put together, it all balances out, and enhances each flavor. I loved it, and it's one of my favorite things I've made. It is quite time consuming though, and there's a lot of prep, so be prepared for that.

Here's the recipe adapted from Food and Wine


  2. 1/2 cup crème fraîche (or use sour cream)
  3. 2 tablespoons buttermilk (I usually sub this with a half and half combination of milk and heavy cream, or just milk with a couple tablespoons of lemon juice)
  4. 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  5. 2 tablespoons minced chives
  6. Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  7. 7 garlic cloves, minced
  8. Salt
  9. Freshly ground black pepper
  10. 4 Thai chiles, minced (didn't have these, used jalapeños instead)
  11. 1 teaspoon ground cardamom (also didn't have this, I only had the cardamom pod/seed things. Break them open and mix with sauce, then take out before serving. Or do what I did and throw them into the food processor with everything, and then take out. This will make their flavor infused with the sauce)
  12. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  13. 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  15. 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
  16. 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  17. 16 large shrimp (about 1 pound), shelled and deveined
  18. Vegetable oil, for frying
  19. Salt
  20. Four 10-inch, thin flatbreads, such as naan, or thick flour tortillas, warmed
  21. 1 Hass avocado, sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
  22. 1/4 cup sliced pickled red onions (from a jar of pickled beets and onions) (I just used fresh red onion)
  23. Directions:
  24. 1. PREPARE THE SAUCES In a bowl, whisk the sour cream with the buttermilk, mint, chives, lemon zest and 1 minced garlic clove; season the crema with salt and pepper.
  25. 2. In a blender, combine the remaining minced garlic with the chiles, cardamom, cumin and lemon juice. Puree until smooth. Season the cardamom sauce with salt and pepper.
  26. 3. PREPARE THE SHRIMP Put the beaten egg and panko in separate bowls. Dip the shrimp in the egg, then dredge in the panko; transfer to a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  27. 4. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a saucepan, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil to 350°. Fry 4 shrimp at a time, turning once, until browned and crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet to drain; season with salt. When all of the shrimp have been fried, transfer them to the oven and bake until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  28. 5. Spread the warm flatbreads with the spicy sauce. Arrange the avocado and the shrimp on top. Scatter the pickled onion on top, drizzle with the crema and serve.

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