Prep 30 mins
Cook 15 mins
A recipe by Jay's Mestena as presented in Texas Monthly in response to a recipe request.
- 5 -6 prickly pears, dethorned if necessary,peeled,yielding 1 1/4 cup of puree (tunas, the fruit of the cactus)
- 1 (8 ounce) box tempura mix (some will be left over)
- 1 tablespoon achiote paste
- 1⁄2 lb large shrimp or 1⁄2 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1⁄4 cup cornstarch
- peanut oil, for frying
- 1⁄4 cup white wine
- 1⁄2 bunch cilantro, stems removed
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 lime
- 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
- 1⁄4 lb unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Pulse tunas (cactus fruit) briefly in a food processor or blender; strain.
- Set aside 1 cup puréed tunas, and reserve remaining 1/4 cup for Cactus-Lime-Butter Sauce.
- Combine 1 cup tempura mix and the achiote paste in a blender or food processor, and pulse until smooth.
- Place mixture in a medium-size bowl, add 1 cup puréed tunas, and mix well.
- Dust shrimp with cornstarch.
- Dip each shrimp individually into tempura-tuna batter, and fry in hot oil (375°) until golden brown, frying only 3-4 at a time.
- Drain well.
- For the Cactus-Lime-Butter Sauce: Combine wine, cilantro, and shallot in a heavy 2 quart saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat until wine is almost gone.
- While the wine is reducing, zest the lime; set zest aside.
- Juice the lime; set juice aside.
- When the wine has reduced to almost nothing, add lime zest, lime juice, and heavy cream, stirring constantly with a whisk.
- Lower heat, and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat for about 5 minutes.
- While the pot is still hot, slowly begin whisking in the butter, a tablespoon at a time, until smooth.
- Strain through a fine sieve.
- Keep sauce warm—if it becomes too cold or too hot, the sauce will separate, and you’ll have to begin the process again.
- Fold in the remaining 1/4 cup cactus fruit purée.
- Yield: Enough sauce for Cactus Shrimp.