Crisp Cotija-crusted Shrimp Tostada with Avocado Verde, Aji Amarillo Crema & Pickled Roasted Corn Relish 

Margarita at Pine Creek

click to enlarge Crisp Cotija-crusted Shrimp Tostada with Avocado Verde, Aji Amarillo Crema & Pickled Roasted Corn Relish - BRIENNE BOORTZ
  • Brienne Boortz
  • Crisp Cotija-crusted Shrimp Tostada with Avocado Verde, Aji Amarillo Crema & Pickled Roasted Corn Relish


For cotija-crusted shrimp:
1 c. cotija cheese, grated
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
1 tsp. aji amarillo powder
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs
1/2 lb. shrimp (approximately
20 to 25 per pound) raw/deveined
Oil for frying
6 crispy tostada shells

For avocado salsa verde:

1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch scallions
3 to 5 garlic cloves
1 jalapeño (leave the seeds
if you like it spicier)
6 tomatillos, quartered
(or about 11/2 c. canned)
2 to 3 avocados
Juice of 1 lime

For aji amarillo crema:
1 c. sour cream
1 tbsp. aji amarillo powder, toasted
2 tbsp. heavy cream
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

For pickled roasted corn relish:
4 ears roasted corn/grilled corn, kernels shaved off
1/4 scallion, minced (both the green and white parts)
2 tbsp. diced roasted red pepper
2 tbsp. cilantro
2 tbsp. finely julienned radish
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
Splash of white wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
Location Details Margarita at Pine Creek
7350 Pine Creek Road
Colorado Springs, CO


For cotija-crusted shrimp:
In a food processor, blend cheese, panko and aji amarillo powder until fine. Combine the flour with salt and pepper and put in a container. Whisk eggs in a second container, and place cheese blend in a third container. In batches, dust shrimp in flour and shake off excess, transfer to egg mixture, shake off excess and coat with cheese blend, then place on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. In a shallow fryer, heat oil to 350 degrees. Crisp shrimp in batches for 2 minutes. Drain and serve immediately.

For avocado salsa verde:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor, pulse until uniform in desired texture; taste for seasoning.

For aji amarillo crema:
Mix all ingredients and let sit for about half an hour.

For roasted pickled corn relish:
Mix all ingredients and let sit for 10 minutes to meld flavors.

To serve 

Take tostada shells and top each with the avocado salsa verde, hot and crispy shrimp and then garnish with crema and relish. Enjoy!


This dish is our take on a fish taco. We had it on our summer bar menu last season and we love how it highlights local corn when it’s in season and the variety of textures and flavors. We use the aji amarillo chili for its sweet, earthy heat and its beautiful deep yellow color. You get a little crispness and a little sauciness. The crunchy battered shrimp give in to a succulent center and a nice balance of spice and tang. We look forward to bringing this requested dish back when our patios open for the Colorado season.

— The Chefs at the Margarita at Pine Creek


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