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Jason DeBriere's shrimp tacos with habanero salsa recipe

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Jason DeBriere, executive chef at Café El Presidente in Manhattan's Flatiron district, shares his knockout shrimp tacos topped with a zesty habanero salsa that adds a pleasant spicy kick at the end of every bite.

Ingredients

For the habanero salsa:

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 t salt, plus more to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 3 habanero peppers
  • 2 limes
  • Handful of cilantro

For the tacos:

  • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 chile de Arbol
  • 1 chile costeño
  • 2 T lime juice
  • ¼ c + 2 T grapeseed oil
  • ¼ head cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 2 t salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 t sugar
  • 2 limes, plus more for serving
  • 1 ½ lbs fresh 21/25 shrimp, peeled, deveined, and halved
  • 6-8 flour tortillas
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish

Directions

For the habanero salsa:

1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Add the onion and 1 t salt, and stir. Cook, covered, until most of the liquid is drawn out of the onion, about 15 minutes.

3. Remove the lid, and cook until the water evaporates and the onion begins to caramelize, stirring to keep it from sticking. Continue just until the natural sugar starts to come through.

4. Meanwhile, either directly over a gas stovetop or on a hot grill, char the tomatoes and jalapeños until blackened. Lightly toast the habanero. Let cool, and remove the seeds from the peppers.

5. Combine the onion, tomatoes, peppers, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender, and purée. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

For the tacos:

1. In a sauté pan or skillet, toast the garlic in its skin and the chiles over medium heat. Let cool, and peel the garlic.

2. In a blender, combine with the chiles, 2 T lime juice, and grapeseed oil. Purée.

3. Toss the cabbage with 2 t salt and the sugar. Set aside for a few minutes. Season with salt, to taste, and add the juice of 2 limes.

4. Heat a griddle pan over medium-high heat.

5. In a bowl, season the shrimp with salt, to taste, add the marinade from the blender, and set aside for about 2 minutes while the pan is heating. Meanwhile, warm the tortillas and keep covered.

6. Add the shrimp, and cook for about 5-6 minutes.

7. Place inside the tortillas, add the cabbage, and spoon a little habanero salsa on top of each taco. Garnish with cilantro and serve with limes.

Serves: 6-8

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