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Aldea's Shrimp Alhinho

Thumbnail image for shrimpalhinho.jpgBy Chef/Owner Georges Mendes

(Serves 8)


  • 2 shrimp heads
  • ½ onion, sliced thin
  • ½ fennel, sliced thin
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced thin
  • 5 shallots, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp. fennel seed
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tbsp. saffron (turmeric is a worthy substitute for those on a budget)
  • ½ c brandy
  • ½ c pernod
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • water (to cover)
  • 2 sprigs tarragon
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • canola oil
  • .2% percent of finished sauce in grams of xantham gum

  • 16 shrimp, cleaned and de-veined
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ tbsp. pimenton (Spanish paprika)
  • 1 tbsp. parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. cilantro
  • juice of one lemon
  • paprika filaments
  • micro cilantro  


Make shrimp essence:

1. Toast the shrimp heads in a thin layer of canola oil. Add mire poix (onion, fennel, etc.) and spices and sweat until soft. Deglaze first with the brandy, then the pernod. Add butter and tomato paste and cook 2 minutes. Cover with water and simmer 30 minutes. Take off the stove, add the herbs and infuse 15 minutes. Pass through a food mill then strain through a chinois.

2. Allow to cool, then add .2% xanthum gum by weight and buzz with a beurre mixer. (If you don’t have one, a blender will help to emulsify the ingredients.)

3. Season and sear the shrimp in 1 tbsp of the olive oil 30 seconds on each side to caramelize.  Remove from pan, set aside.

4. Lower the heat and add the remaining olive oil and the minced garlic.  Cook the garlic slowly, shaking pan, until lightly golden.  Add the pimenton and mix well.  Return the shrimp to the pan and let cook another minute on each side.  Add the chopped parsley, cilantro, and lemon juice.

5. Heat the shrimp essence.  Place 4 shrimp in center of each plate.  Spoon a small amount the garlic-olive oil mix over the shrimp and then a spoon of the essence on top of and around the shrimp. Top with the paprika filaments and the micro cilantro.

Phone: (212) 675-7223
Address: 31 West 17th St., btwn Fifth & Sixth Aves.

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