Cactus Shrimp With Cactus-lime-butter Sauce

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“A recipe by Jay's Mestena as presented in Texas Monthly in response to a recipe request.”
4 appetizers

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Pulse tunas (cactus fruit) briefly in a food processor or blender; strain.
  2. Set aside 1 cup puréed tunas, and reserve remaining 1/4 cup for Cactus-Lime-Butter Sauce.
  3. Combine 1 cup tempura mix and the achiote paste in a blender or food processor, and pulse until smooth.
  4. Place mixture in a medium-size bowl, add 1 cup puréed tunas, and mix well.
  5. Chill.
  6. Dust shrimp with cornstarch.
  7. Dip each shrimp individually into tempura-tuna batter, and fry in hot oil (375°) until golden brown, frying only 3-4 at a time.
  8. Drain well.
  9. For the Cactus-Lime-Butter Sauce: Combine wine, cilantro, and shallot in a heavy 2 quart saucepan.
  10. Cook over medium heat until wine is almost gone.
  11. While the wine is reducing, zest the lime; set zest aside.
  12. Juice the lime; set juice aside.
  13. When the wine has reduced to almost nothing, add lime zest, lime juice, and heavy cream, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  14. Lower heat, and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  15. Remove from heat for about 5 minutes.
  16. While the pot is still hot, slowly begin whisking in the butter, a tablespoon at a time, until smooth.
  17. Strain through a fine sieve.
  18. Keep sauce warm—if it becomes too cold or too hot, the sauce will separate, and you’ll have to begin the process again.
  19. Fold in the remaining 1/4 cup cactus fruit purée.
  20. Yield: Enough sauce for Cactus Shrimp.

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