I first tried arepas at a local street fair. South American in origin, arepas are like a corn cake and flat bread rolled in to one and make the perfect platform for showing off my Spanish influenced spiced shrimp. Trying to figure out a way to have bacon-wrapped shrimp with both perfectly crisp bacon and tender shrimp was a real conundrum. Cooking them separately is the only way to have them perfectly cooked. Reuniting them on the plate where the shrimp actually wraps the bacon was such a fun and delicious twist. When tomatoes are not in season use pomegranate seeds for garnish.
Bacon Arepas with Spicy Shrimp, Greens & Applewood Smoked Corn Aioli
847 per serving
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 12 (16-20 count) fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined
- 13 slices applewood smoked bacon, divided
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon yellow corn meal
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup fresh sweet corn kernels
- 1 fresh jalapeo, seeded, minced
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup semolina flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 slices applewood smoked bacon, crisp cooked, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup shredded monterrey jack cheese
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon hot water
- 3 cups micro greens or baby lettuces
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, smoked paprika, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper; add shrimp tossing to coat. Cover and chill shrimp until ready to cook.
Heat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Wrap cannoli forms tightly with foil. Reserve 1 slice of bacon. Wrap 1 slice of remaining bacon around each cannoli form tucking in ends. Place on baking sheet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until cooked and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Carefully remove bacon spirals from forms; keep warm.
Step 3: Prepare Applewood Smoked Corn Aioli
In microwave safe 1 cup measure combine heavy cream, the reserved strip of bacon, corn meal, garlic and basil. Heat on HIGH in microwave for 45 to 60 seconds or until mixture boils. Cool. Strain. In small bowl, whisk sour cream, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and enough cream mixture to make a drizzle consistency; set aside.
Step 4: Prepare Arepas
In food processor, process corn, jalapeno, sugar and salt until fine texture. Transfer corn mixture to a bowl. Add semolina, baking powder, chopped bacon and cheese; mix well. Mix milk and hot water; add just enough milk mixture to make well-moistened dough. Divide dough into 12 portions; shape each into a 2-inch round cake. In a large, non-stick pan over medium heat, fry arepas in bacon grease for 1 minute or until brown. Turn and brown the other side. Transfer arepas to a baking sheet and keep warm in 200F oven.
Grill or broil shrimp for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until just cooked.
Toss greens with some lemon juice, salt and pepper; place in center of serving plates. Sprinkle with tomatoes. Top with an arepa and then a bacon spiral. Prop 1 shrimp in center of bacon spiral. Drizzle with aioli.