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“This is an appetizer recipe from Cafe Verde in Pasadena, California. It consists of a cream sauce, fried plantains with a shrimp filling, and is finished with a balsamic reduction. The recipe makes more cream sauce than is needed. It can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days. I wrote the recipe as written up in the LA Times, but when I made it, I think the serving size is way too much. I could only eat 1 plantain as an appetizer. Perhaps if making as a tapas 2 would suffice, but 3 is too much for one person. I would just serve these all on a platter, and let guests take however much they want.”
1hr 20mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Make the sauce: Heat butter in a large saucepan over high heat; cook the garlic and squash until the garlic is aromatic.
  2. Add the wine and onion and reduce the heat to medium low; cook until the squash is tender and the wine has reduced to a glaze, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in chicken broth, heavy cream and thyme; cook until reduced by about 1/3, 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, discard thyme, and puree with an immersion blender, or use a regular blender.
  5. Strain sauce, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and thin with additional broth, if necessary.
  6. To make the shrimp filling, melt butter in a large skillet, over high heat.
  7. Add garlic and cook until aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Stir in shrimp, salsa, and white wine; cook until the wine and liquid from the salsa is reduced and the shrimps are cooked, 2 to 3 minutes; remove from heat.
  9. To reduce the balsamic vinegar: cook the vinegar, in a small saucepan, over medium low heat (gentle simmer) until the vinegar is reduced to a thick sauce, 8 to 10 minutes; set aside and let cool.
  10. Peel the plantains and cut into thirds.
  11. Use a melon baller to scoop out plantains to form a "canoe.".
  12. Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a skillet over medium heat and fry the plantains until they are golden and tender on all sides, about 6 to 8 minutes; drain on paper toweling.
  13. To assemble: Divide 1 cup of the sauce on each of 4 serving plates.
  14. Place 3 plantains on each plate and spread with shrimp filling.
  15. Drizzle with the balsamic reduction and serve.

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