Shrimp Crusted Vegetables with Harissa-Yogurt Dipping Sauce
8 large wild shrimp (15/20), shells removed and cleaned
1 large egg
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, sliced in ¼-inch slices
¼ teaspoon curry powder
½ bunch scallions, thinly sliced
canola oil to shallow fry
2 Japanese eggplants
4 red jalapeños
2 yellow peppers
½ cup cornstarch
1 cup 2% Greek yogurt
1 heaping tablespoons basil chiffonade
1 tablespoon chopped preserved lemons
1 tablespoon harissa sauce
1 cup baby spinach, chiffonade
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, puree the shrimp, egg, salt and pepper until very smooth.
2. Add the butter and curry to the food processor and pulse a few times. Transfer to a medium bowl and fold in half the scallions. Reserve.
3. In a low, wide pan, add about 1 ½ inches of canola oil and bring to about 350°F.
4. Meanwhile prepare the vegetables. Cut the eggplant on a bias in 1/3-inch thick slices. With a paring knife, score one side with a cross-hatch pattern. Remove the tops of the jalapeños, halve them and remove the seeds. Remove the top and seed of the yellow pepper and cut in thirds.
5. Using a small off-set spatula or the back of a spoon, put a 1/3-inch thick layer of mousse on the non-scored side of the eggplant, fill the jalapeño halves and the yellow pepper wedges.
6. Place the cornstarch in a shallow bowl and lightly coat both sides of the stuffed vegetables in the cornstarch, removing excess.
7. Gently, place in oil, vegetable-side down first. Fry the pieces in the hot canola oil for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Season with salt.
8. Combine the Greek yogurt, basil, remaining scallions, preserved lemons, harissa sauce, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
9. To serve, place a bed of spinach on a platter. Top with the mousse-stuffed vegetables and serve with harissa dipping sauce in a small bowl.
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