Recipe courtesy of Lynn Crawford

Olive Oil Poached Shrimp with Olive Tortillas, Cumin Scented Black Beans and Tomatillo Avocado Salsa

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 5 min
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 6 servings
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2 cups olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 shallots, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

4 slices lemon

3 sprigs fresh thyme

18 whole shrimp, cleaned and deveined


3 cups baby arugula

1 cup radishes, thinly sliced

1 cup watercress

1/4 cup assorted olives, cut in slivers

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive Tortillas, recipe follows

Cumin Scented Black Beans, recipe follows

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa, recipe follows

4 ounces queso fresco, crumbled

Lime Sour Cream, recipe follows

Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish

6 lime wedges, for garnish

Olive Tortillas:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

1/2 cup vegetable shortening (3 1/2 ounces)

2 tablespoons pitted and finely chopped kalamata olives

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup warm water

Cumin Scented Black Beans:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 onion, diced

2 teaspoons ground toasted cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

8 ounces cooked black beans

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, minced

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa:

8 ounces tomatillo, papery husks removed, cut into 1/4-inch dice

2 avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/4-inch dice

3 scallions, finely chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seed and minced

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lime juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Lime Sour Cream:

1 cup sour cream

Zest and juice of 1 lime

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. For the shrimp: In a medium saucepot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the garlic and shallots and cook until translucent. Then add the black peppercorns, lemon slices, thyme and the rest of the olive oil. 
  2. Bring to a boil, and then take off the heat. Let stand for 15 minutes to infuse the flavors.
  3. Return the oil to medium heat. Add the shrimp and poach until the shrimp is cooked, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the oil to cool.
  4. For the salad: Combine the arugula, radishes, watercress and olives in a large bowl. Toss with the olive oil and rice vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. To serve, place a warm Olive Tortilla on a plate and top with a tablespoon of the Cumin Scented Black Beans. Top with 3 pieces poached shrimp, then a small mound of the salad. Top with the Tomatillo Avocado Salsa and some cheese. Drizzle some Lime Sour Cream on top and garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Olive Tortillas:

  1. In the bowl of a heavy duty mixer, place the flour, shortening, olives and salt. Beat with the paddle until crumbly, 3 to 5 minutes. With the mixer running, gradually add the warm water and continue mixing until the dough is smooth, about 3 minutes.
  2. Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place on a baking sheet or board. Cover with a towel and let rest at room temperature at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.
  3. Cut out six 12-inch squares of waxed or parchment paper for stacking the tortillas. On a lightly floured board, roll each ball into a 10-inch circle and transfer to a paper square. Stack on a baking sheet or platter and refrigerate until cooking time. Uncooked tortillas can be kept in the refrigerator, well wrapped with paper squares between the layers, up to 2 days.
  4. To cook, heat a dry griddle or 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Carefully peel off the paper and cook the tortillas, one at a time, until puffy and slightly brown, 30 to 45 seconds per side. Set aside to cool slightly on a towel-lined platter.

Cumin Scented Black Beans:

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, garlic and onions and cook until translucent. Add the cumin and pepper flakes and cook for another minute. Add the beans, 1/4 cup water and season with salt and pepper. Stir together and cook over low heat for 15 minutes to infuse the flavors.
  2. To finish, blend about 1/3 of the beans with a touch of water to make a thick paste. Stir this paste back into the whole beans. Just before serving, stir in the cilantro.

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa:

  1. Combine the tomatillos, avocados, scallions, jalapeno, cilantro, olive oil and lime juice and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

Lime Sour Cream:

  1. Combine the sour cream, lime zest and juice and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
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