Spiced Shrimp and Potatoes with Sweet Corn Sauce and Red Pepper-Citrus Oil

Caribbean food is not only colorful but so delicious!  The combination of flavors and textures in this dish is absolutely amazing—the sweetness of the creamy but light corn sauce, the heat of the seared shrimp, the scent of cardamom and cumin in the potatoes, the acidity and freshness of the kumquat-blood orange salad. Pair it with a spiced passion fruit cocktail and head straight to the islands!

Yield: 4 servings



  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground ancho chili
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (optional: brine shrimp – see below)


  • 4 large red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
  • ½ cup onions, chopped
  • ½ tbsp red jalapeño, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tbsp fresh lime juice

Corn sauce

  •  ¼ cup shallots, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (from ~ 3 corns on the cob)
  • 4 cardamom seeds, whole
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup low-fat milk, room temperature

Red pepper-citrus oil (make ahead)

  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh blood orange juice
  • ½ tsp coarse kosher salt
  • ¼ cup grape seed oil


  • ¼ cup thinly sliced kumquat
  • 2 tbsp fresh blood orange pieces
  • 2 tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 tbsp fresh blood orange juice



Combine curry powder, cayenne pepper, and ancho chili in the bottom of a medium bowl; add salt and pepper to taste as well as 1 tbsp of olive oil and mix. Add shrimp to bowl and toss to coat. (For better results: cover with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator for about 1 hour before cooking).

Heat 2 tablespoons oil, add shrimp and sauté them for 3 minutes on each side. When done, put them in the bowl.


Place potatoes and 1 tbsp of salt in a medium pot and cover with water by couple of inches. Bring to a boil, covered, then reduce heat and remove lid. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until potatoes are tender but still firm. Drain and allow cooling off. Cut potatoes in smaller pieces (about ½” cubes) and set aside.

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions for 4-5 minutes, until translucent, then add ground cumin and stir. Add potatoes and sauté for couple of minutes. Add jalapeño, and season with salt and pepper to taste; sauté for 1 more minute. Transfer to a bowl, drizzle with lime juice and toss to coat. Cover and keep warm.

Corn Sauce

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan (1.5 qt); add salt and pepper to taste. Set over low heat for 10-12 minutes, until kernels are soft and cooked through; do not let it boil. Remove from heat and let it cool for at least 5 minutes.

Transfer to a food processor (or blender), mix on high, and drain using fine-mesh strainer; make sure to press with plastic or wooden spatula. Adjust seasoning. Set aside.

Red Pepper-Citrus Oil (Make ahead)

Combine all ingredients in a blender on high. Drain using fine-mesh strainer and set aside.


Combine kumquat slices, blood orange, and cilantro in a small bowl. Drizzle blood orange juice and a little olive oil. Season with salt to taste.


Serve potatoes in the middle of a deep dish and arrange shrimp on top, creating a crown. Serve sweet corn sauce around the potatoes, on the bottom of the plate, and add red pepper-garlic oil in drops on top of sauce and drizzle over shrimp. Garnish with kumquat-blood orange salad.


Skip extra calories and fat.  You don’t need cream to make a great corn sauce. Try this recipe, which uses low-fat milk instead of cream, and you’ll be surprise by how velvety and delicate it is. These are the little changes that I make to live a healthier life!

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