31 August, 2020

I think I’m done with las changueras (shrimp ladies). Most of the year their product is frozen anyway, and even if I get to them in late morning I find I HAVE to cook the shrimp that day, or toss it out. I’m originally from the Pacific Northwest. We don’t have fresh shrimp – but we do know our seafood. When their shrimp is still cold in their big tubs it looks/smells fine – but the minute it warms up, plan on a stinky apartment! And that’s not how fresh shrimp should introduce themselves to your place.

There’s a shop down on Avenida Emilio Barragán near the Jumapam office and the embarcadero to La Isla de la Piedra (the embarcadero to get you to the town on Stone Island, not the tourist embarcadero) that doesn’t thaw their product and let it sit out for hours/days(?). Of course, they’re more expensive than the shrimp ladies, and not nearly as fun, AND I have to walk through La Ciudad Perdida (the lost city) to get there – but I’m going to say adios to the shrimp ladies and either just buy at the mercado or make the trek through the lost city.

The reason for my latest shrimp purchase is that I’ve been wanting a shrimp chile relleno for a long time. I can’t seem to find them anywhere so making my own appears to be my only option. If you’re from North of the Border you likely think all rellenos are stuffed with cheese and that’s it. Oh no! How boring! You can put whatever you want inside your relleno, and believe me – you’ll be doing the happy dance of relleno delight!

So three poblano peppers – roasted and peeled, then dried as well as I could get them. Slit made and the seeds removed. Rice cooked. Cheese grated. Shrimp steamed. Méxican salsa (onion, jalapeño, tomato) made – no cilantro, I didn’t have any. Flour, salt, pepper, and finally – two eggs. Used the last of my oil to put a shallow layer in my skillet.

Season the flour and dredge the peppers. Stuff with a mixture of the shrimp, rice, cheese, and salsa. Close the peppers with toothpicks. Whip up the eggs and dip the flour coated peppers into the egg to coat (spoon some on top) and then place in the skillet to cook. Flip when done and cook on the other side. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.

I enjoyed mine with just some additional salsa, but you can make a salsa roja, salsa verde, or even molé! So many ways to enjoy. And don’t waste the leftover egg – when you’re done frying the chile’s, throw the remaining egg mixture into the skillet and make yourself a little shrimp egg roll!

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