Picked a Winner

I’ve talked a few other times about “recipe trust”.

You know, those people that, when they send you a recipe, you know it must be tried? I've got a few people that I trust unconditionally when it comes to recipes.

Well, my mom is one of those people. I don’t know that there’s ever been a recipe that she’s sent or given me that hasn’t been a great one. So, when a recipe from my mom popped up in my inbox the other day, and then she confirmed that it was indeed good, I knew it was going on our menu this week.


Puerto Vallarta-style shrimp burgers with avocado aioli

From MSNBC/Today

Chef Marcela Valladolid

Yield: 6 servings; prep time: 20 minutes; cook time: 6 to 8 minutes


For the shrimp burgers:

1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 egg
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 poblano chile, roasted, peeled, stemmed, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons chopped white onion
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons canola oil
Bulky Ciabatta rolls, split in half
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
6 lettuce leaves or a mixture of baby lettuce leaves

For the avocado aioli:

1 Haas avocado, halved, seeded and peeled
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
1 serrano chile, cut in half and seeded
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


To make the shrimp burgers:
Divide the shrimp in half. Coarsely chop one half and set aside. Put remaining half in a food processor and grind to a coarse puree. Add egg, cilantro and garlic to processor. Process until smooth. Sprinkle mixture with breadcrumbs and process again. Transfer contents of food processor to a large bowl. Add coarsely chopped shrimp, poblano chile and onion. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Mix well. Chill for 15 minutes. Form patties or “burgers” and set aside.
Heat oil in a heavy skillet. When very hot, fry the shrimp burgers until golden, about 3 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Drain on paper towels.
To make the avocado aioli:
Scoop the avocado pulp into the bowl of a food processor. Add the mayonnaise, lime juice, garlic cloves, serrano chile, cilantro, salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Check and adjust seasoning.
To assemble:
Serve shrimp burgers on buns, topped with a dollop of avocado aioli, sliced tomato and lettuce.


Circle the calendar, folks... I followed a recipe to the letter! Now, my suggestions: Cut the garlic in the aoli down to about half a clove. There's a serious burn there with the garlic and serrano chile! If you don't have a poblano handy, just use a drained small can of roasted green chiles. I only got 5 burgers out of the recipe, but I think my "rough estimate" of half a 2-lb bag of frozen shrimp was a bit under. I'd also increase the cilantro (if you like it) in the burgers as well. The oil content seems a bit high, but just know, of the 3 Tbsp. oil I used, about 2 Tbsp. were left in the pan. Just make sure to cook them at high enough heat.

Now, you know me fairly well, or at least, you know my cooking style fairly well. You know that the bread up there wasn’t just any old bread… I made it! It was another episode of “knowing basic bread ingredients” and then “throwing them into a bowl until they resemble dough”. These were light, fluffy, doughy, and slightly sweet. I can’t wait to make a turkey sandwich on one!

Speedy “Ciabatta” Rolls
* 2 tsp. dry active yeast
* 2 cups plus 1 cup warm water
* 3 cups (plus more, if needed)
* 1.5 Tbsp. sugar
* 2 tsp. salt
* 1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for oiling the bowl

Add 1 c. warm water to a mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to proof about 10 minutes. Then, add sugar, salt, olive oil, and slowly mix in the bread flour until the dough comes together. Add some of the water, then more flour until the dough is very soft but not too sticky. Allow to rise about an hour, then punch down, divide into 8 equal sections, and form into round buns. Pre-heat the oven to 425* while the buns rise another half hour. Then, place a pie plate of water in the bottom of the oven, and put the pan of buns in the oven with the water and bake 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the water pan (CAREFULLY!) and bake another 15-20 minutes until the crust is browned.

I have a busy few days of cupcake baking coming up, so I need to get my rest! I’m enjoying my time off this week though, that’s for sure!

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20 Responses to Picked a Winner

  1. Lauren says:

    It’s so difficult for me to follow a recipe to a T. But I can see how it would be important to follow this one, you wouldn’t want to miss a single thing in these amazing looking burgers.

    WOW! You wow me all the time girl.
    Lauren´s last blog post ..Cleveland Weekend Part 2, Party for the Princesses

    • Brittany says:

      We went to Puerto Vallarta a couple years ago so this Shrimp Burger’s title brings back great memories. Plus, they look amazing. I’ll have to bookmark the recipe. 🙂

      And, I totally know what you mean about “recipe trust”!

  2. Christina says:

    Oh they look beautiful! I trust recipes from my parents too!
    Christina´s last blog post ..Stuffed Pork Loin

  3. holly says:

    Love the new look! Am I super late to the blog-look love fest??

  4. mom says:

    thanks, honey! it’s a great recipe. I, of course, all but eliminated the garlic and upped the lime in the sauce…

  5. Shrimp burgers?! Why haven’t I ever heard of those?! YUM!

  6. Wei-Wei says:

    I think I’ve come across a few bad recipes in my time… A lot of times the stuff I bake is too greasy. 🙁 I’ve yet to find recipe trust! These look amaaaaazing, by the way. Shrimp burgers = <3


  7. I’ve never seen a shrimp burger before, that looks divine!

    Jenn (Jenn’s Menu and Lifestyle Blog)´s last blog post ..Farewell, Fun and Games!

  8. Melissa S. says:

    when i come to chicago for HLS can you cook for me…PLEASEEEEEEE?!?!?!?!?! Ok actually, just meeting you will suffice! you are such a great cook and photographer!
    Melissa S.´s last blog post ..I Wish…

  9. Marianne says:

    Shrimp burgers with avocado aioli? Sounds fantastic. So summery!
    Marianne´s last blog post ..Here Comes The Sun

  10. Biz says:

    That looks delicious Mara – thanks for your added tips at the bottom too!

  11. Yeah it is like a mom gene or something…everything my mom sends me is amazing too!
    Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly´s last blog post ..Monday Miles

  12. Oh Mara! You even made the rolls!! What a scrumptious looking dinner.. I MUST try this one… minus the home made rolls 😉
    Mary @ What’s Cookin’ with Mary´s last blog post ..Home Sweet Home

  13. Katie says:

    Shrimp burgers?! Two of my favorite things at once! Sounds delish. I always trust my dad’s recipes!
    Katie´s last blog post ..Nodding Off

  14. elise says:

    i kinda feel like that about all of mama peas recipes, and yet, im still waiting to get a kitchen…come august ill be locked in the kitchen (aka in heaven). cant wait!!

  15. Those look soooo good. Can I come over for dinner next time you make them?

    I am bad about following recipes exactly, but I love when people I trust send me good ones. (Or bloggers I like post good ones… hint hint.)

  16. Quix says:

    Good lord that looks delicious. My problem is I can’t help but tinker with recipes, like I know better than them to make it super duper… most of the time it works in my favor, but sometimes I really muck it up!
    Quix´s last blog post ..Deep Thought on Shallow Subjects

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