Don't go serving Silvana Salcido Esparza some over-worked, over-wrought, over-thought dish that sits in a nice little design in the very center of the plate.
"I don't like my food to be puréed, recongealed, molded and then sliced, and they only give me this much," she says, holding her thumb and pointer finger up, with about an inch of space left in between.
For Esparza, stick to the basics. "I think food should be pure and simple," she says.
And simple it is. Track down some fresh seafood and take a stab at this signature dish from Chef Esparza's menu, Enchiladas del Mar.
1 teaspoon olive oil 1 shallot, minced 24 large tiger shrimp, peeled and cleaned 1 clove garlic, minced 6 ounces bay scallops 1 cup white wine 3 cups heavy cream 1 lb. tomatillos 24 blue or white corn tortillas 1 lb. Oaxaca cheese 12 ounces goat/chevre cheese, crumbled 2 lb. crab meat 8 ounces queso fresco 1 haas avocado Salt & pepper, to taste
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
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On an open flame, roast peeled tomatillos until charred. Puree in blender for 30 seconds. Set aside.
At a high heat, in a large heated sauté pan, add olive oil, minced shallots and shrimp. Sauté until shrimp start to turn pink in color, at this point add minced garlic and continue to sauté for 30 seconds. Add scallops and white wine, let reduce until wine is almost gone. Add heavy cream, tomatillo sauce and salt and pepper to taste, reduce at a low heat until cream is thick. At this point, check sauce for flavor and adjust salt to taste.
Warm blue corn tortillas on a hot metal griddle until soft. Stuff the warm tortillas with shredded Oaxacan cheese and goat cheese crumbles, then roll and place in a earthenware pan (lasagna pan is ok to use as well). Cover rolled enchiladas evenly with cold crab, spoon shrimp and scallop sauce over the enchiladas. Top with remainder of Oaxaca cheese and place, uncovered, in oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
Garnish with queso fresco crumbles and avocado slices.