Every time we see sweet Maine shrimp I am taken back to cooking with Madhur Jaffrey during a cooks and books event when we were at Clio. Madhur sent up pamphlets of recipes ahead for us to begin preparing, some of the condiments needed time to develop. The condiment which stood out in my mind was fermented jalapenos, a recipe which took me years to find after the dinner. Somehow, let's call it youthful ignorance, I did not write or obtain a recipe for the time consuming condiment. The only reason I now have the recipe is that we ran into Madhur at Otto and I boldly interrupted her lunch with Lidia Bastianich to ask the for the recipe. She kindly and quickly pointed me in the direction of her book Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East Vegetarian Cooking.
The condiment played an integral role in the dressing for a hot and cold sweet Maine shrimp dish. Oil and mustard seeds were heated in a pan with fresh curry leaves. When the mustard seeds started to pop the shrimp were added and lightly salted. The shrimp cooked quickly and were soon reserved on a warm plate. To compliment the shrimp, green mango were dressed with a vinaigrette of lime juice and minced fermented jalapenos. The shrimp were plated and the juices from the shrimp were added to the salad which topped the dish. The flavors were huge and deep and this balance of flavors, techniques and inspirations certainly guides how we cook today.