Weekend Cooking Challenge #2, and the great Cilantro debate!

Mario's Weekend Cooking Challenge #2 was a great success, thanks to a wonderful host, Mario Bosquez, and a fabulous recipe courtesy of Chef Andrew Wild, chef and instructor at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.  The recipe chosen was: shrimp in a cilantro cream sauce.  Some of you are going:  "eeeeewww, cilantro", and some of you are like: "that sounds divine"!  There has always been a great debate over cilantro, with very strong feelings one way or another.  Either it tastes like soap to you, or you love it! 

Ironically, the New York Times published an article on this just last week.  You can read it online at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/dining/14curious.html?scp=2&sq=cilantro&st=cse.

The good news for both lovers and haters of this contraversial herb is that it imparts such a mellow flavor in this dish, you hardly know it is there.  Of course, if you are so against it that you lie and tell people you are allergic to it to avoid it, you can easily substitute in parsley, or another herb of your liking. 
My picture made it onto the Martha Stewart Living Radio Blog, you can see it here:  http://theradioblog.marthastewart.com/2010/04/recap-of-marios-weekend-cooking-challenge.html.  My dish is picture #11.  Next month I'll put a puppy or a baby in the picture, and maybe it'll make front page..... hahaha.

And for the record, my husband said this is in the top five dinners I've ever made.  It's that good!  I wasn't sure how to serve this-- alone as an appetizer, over pasta, with rice, wrapped in a tortilla?  So I served it over pasta, alongside a grilled steak that was marinated in a rub of cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and a little olive oil.  Truth be told, this shrimp would be good any which way! 

Here is the recipe:

Shrimp with Cilantro Cream (Camarones con Rabos de Cilantro)

This recipe is part of Mario’s weekend cooking challenge. The recipe is courtesy of chef Andrew Wild of the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.


  • 1 Pound 26-30 count shrimp, shelled and deveined 
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (substitute extra virgin olive oil if you don't have avacado)
  • 1 cup cilantro stems
  • 1 small white onion, julienned
  • 1 poblano chile, seeded and julienned
  • 2 cloves garlic, slivered thin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
  • Pinch ground cumin
  • 1 cup heavy cream (I used half and half it it turned out great)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Juice of 1 lime, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, minced

1. Make sure that the shrimp has been patted dry.

2. Place a large saute pan on the stove top over medium heat and add the avocado oil.

3. Add the garlic, onions, and poblano. Cook until lightly golden and tender. Add the cilantro stems, oregano, and cumin.

4. Add the heavy cream and bring to a boil. Cook until the cream is reduced by about 2/3rds and has thickened slightly.

5. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook for 2 minutes until the shrimp have just turned pink. Stir occasionally to coat shrimp with the sauce. Remove from the heat and season with lime juice and salt. Sprinkle with minced cilantro leaves and either serve as an entree’ or serve right from the pan with toothpicks.

For those of you with a true passion for hating on Cilantro, there are websites, blogs, and gift ideas devoted to you.  Being a Cilantro non-hater, I will not provide these for you, but Google will! 



  1. I didn't realize it was such a like/dislike for most people. I just know that Kenny HATES it. Just figured it was him. :) He may feel better that there is a whole group of people out there that hate it just as much.


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