The daiquiri was invented in Cuba by American engineers who found themselves without gin. They had no choice but to substitute with readily available rum, in turn creating the perfect drink. Rum, lime and sugar — simple, balanced and perfect. The locals took to the drink and it traveled back to America with the engineers.
Here, wild Louisiana white shrimp are flambéed with rum and squeezed lime over a second line of charred sweet chiles, crab-boiled pineapple and sweet potatoes, pearl onions and wilted greens. This playful dish brings a lot of bright flavors of lime and flamed rum along with some spice of a Louisiana crawfish boil to satisfy in this hot and spicy climate. This dish, while playing off flavors of a daiquiri, would also complement one very well.
Technique tip: This recipe includes instructions to flambé with rum. Please be careful. The rum will ignite. Always remove pan from flame before adding alcohol.
Swap option: This dish is great with fish as well. I have used red snapper and speckled trout in place of wild white shrimp.
- 1/4 cup dried crab boil seasoning
- 1 pineapple, skin and core removed, and diced
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- salt, to taste
- 1/4 bunch cilantro, leaves sliced into thin ribbons
- 1/4 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and finely diced
- 2 ounces light rum
- 1 cup lime juice
- 1⅓ cup light corn syrup
- 1 large Louisiana sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 6-8 white pearl onions, peeled
- 1 small poblano pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into thin strips
- 1 small yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into thin strips
- 1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into thin strips
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Creole seasoning
- 1-1½ pounds 16/20-size wild white gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 ounce light rum
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2-3 large Swiss chard leaves, stems removed and cut into strips
- 2 limes, halved
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Daiquiri Gastrique (recipe above)
- Crab-Boiled Pineapple Coulis (recipe above)
For the Crab-Boiled Pineapple Coulis:1.
Bring 1 gallon water to a boil. Add the crab boil seasoning to boiling water.2.
Cook the diced pineapple in the boiling water until just tender, remove and cool to room temperature. Reserve all the boiling liquid and keep warm on the stove over low heat.3.
Place the strained pineapple, 1/4 boiling liquid and corn syrup in the blender. Puree on high for 2 minutes and adjust seasoning with salt. Once velvety smooth and properly seasoned, stop the blender. Add the cilantro and pulse 5 times to just combine cilantro with puree.4.
Fold in poblano and adjust salt to taste. Set sauce aside until ready to plate. Sauce will keep in an airtight container for 3 days.
For the Daiquiri Gastrique:
Combine all ingredients in a 1-quart sauce pot over low heat. Simmer for 20 minutes or until mixture has reduced by half. Be cautious, as rum may ignite. Be prepared to smother the flame with a pot lid or you can allow the alcohol to burn off.
For the Lime Daiquiri-Lacquered Gulf Shrimp:1.
Bring the boiling liquid back to a boil. Drop the sweet potatoes and pearl onions into boiling seasoned crab boil water and boil for about 8 minutes or until just fork-tender. Using a slotted spoon or spider, retrieve the vegetables from water and set aside. Discard crab boil water.2.
Place two 12-inch sauté pans on the stove over medium-high heat.3.
In one of the sauté pans over high heat, toss the peppers with the vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of Creole seasoning, and sauté peppers down until they are tender and a bit charred from the heat. Add the sweet potatoes and onions. Stir ingredients until they are well-incorporated and warm.4.
Season shrimp with minced garlic, shallots and 1/2 tablespoon of Creole seasoning. Add shrimp to the second hot pan. Allow to cook on one side for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn shrimp over and allow to cook for 30 seconds. Carefully flambé shrimp with rum. Pull pan away from open flame and slowly pour rum into pan. Reintroduce pan to flame. Allow rum to catch fire. Flame should burn out quickly. Add butter to pan and swirl rum and butter together to coat shrimp. Turn off heat.5.
Add the Swiss chard to the pan of vegetables and toss. Squeeze the limes directly into the pan over the vegetables. Stir again to help the greens wilt. Taste the vegetables and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.6.
Pour 4 ounces of Daiquiri Gastrique to the pan of shrimp. Toss shrimp gently to coat in the shiny glaze.7.
Pool 2 ounces of Crab-Boiled Pineapple Coulis in the base of four entrée bowls. Spoon vegetables into a line across the base of the bowls. Arrange the shrimp over vegetables. Drizzle with more Daiquiri Glaze, if desired.