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Active time10 minutes
Total time45 minutes
For the Sauce
1 large jalapeño, seeded
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch cilantro, cleaned and stemmed (2 cups leaves)
2 tablespoons lime juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
For the Chicharrones
½ cup red quinoa, rinsed
16 jumbo shrimp or prawns, tails on, deveined
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne
½ cup unbleached white ﬂour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
For the Sauce:
- Make ﬁrst. In a food processor or blender, ﬁnely mince the jalapeño, garlic, and cilantro. Add the lime juice and purée.
- Drizzle in the olive oil to make a smooth sauce. Reserve.
For the Chicharrones:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. After rinsing the quinoa, add it to the boiling water and cook for 10 minutes, then drain.
- Spread the quinoa out on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to dry. It should be quite dry to the touch; pat it with towels if necessary.
- Pat the shrimp dry, if damp, and put it in a medium bowl. Mix the oregano, cumin, and cayenne and sprinkle over the shrimp; toss to coat.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Prepare 2 pie pans, one with the ﬂour, one with the beaten eggs. Dip the shrimp in the ﬂour, then the egg, then the quinoa.
- Place 2 heavy baking pans in the hot oven for 5 minutes. Take each out, spray liberally with oil, then quickly place the shrimp on the hot pans, keeping them from touching. Spray the coated shrimp with oil, and bake for 5 minutes.
- Flip the shrimp with tongs, then bake for 5 minutes more. Cut one through the thickest part to make sure they are cooked through. The baking time will vary with the size of the shrimp.
- Serve the shrimp hot with the aji sauce.