March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction: The recipes

Brian Roy will serve several appetizers at the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction, including his take on the classic shrimp cocktail. He adds a chile to the poaching liquid to create an earthy Southwestern flavor. The appetizer has run as a s...

Brian Roy will serve several appetizers at the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction, including his take on the classic shrimp cocktail. He adds a chile to the poaching liquid to create an earthy Southwestern flavor. The appetizer has run as a special at Baja Billy's Cantina and Grill and soon will be on the restaurant's menu. Roy is co-owner and executive chef of the Duluth restaurant as well as Tejas Texas Grill and Saloon in Hermantown.

Chile and Lime Poached Shrimp

1 dried New Mexico or Anaheim chile or a dried chile of choice, broken or cut into 1-inch chunks

1 tablespoon pickling spice

2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice


2 quarts water

1 pound shrimp (26/30 count per pound), peeled and deveined

Combine chopped chile, pickling spice, lime juice and water in 2-quart sauce pot; bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add shrimp, stirring regularly, cook for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or just until the shrimp loses its transparency. Do not overcook. Strain shrimp in a colander and transfer shrimp directly into an ice bath, stirring to "coat" the shrimp with ice and ensure immediate cooling. Remove cooled shrimp from ice bath and refrigerate.

Arrange chilled shrimp on a platter with fresh lime wedges and serve with Chipotle Cocktail Sauce and Avocado Crema (recipes follow).

Yield: About 6 servings (4 or 5 shrimp per serving).

Chipotle Cocktail Sauce

1 cup prepared cocktail sauce

1 teaspoon chipotle peppers in adobo, minced


1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lime juice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Mix all ingredients and serve.

Avocado Crema

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 avocado, fresh mashed, or about 1/4 cup prepared avocado pulp

1/2 teaspoon lime zest

1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro


Mix all ingredients and serve.


Because of its Southwestern flair, Roy calls this pork appetizer Vera Cruz. Like many items at Tejas Texas Grill and Saloon, a smoker and hickory chips are used to make it. If you don't have a smoker, the pork can be roasted at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. To add texture, serve it with crispy greens, Roy suggests.

Smoked Pork Vera Cruz on Flat Bread with Pan Juice


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon chipotles in adobo, pureed


2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 garlic clove, minced

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.


2 pounds pork tenderloin

1/4 cup water or chicken broth



5 pieces of store-bought flat bread or pita bread, each cut into quarters

Place pork in zipper-lock bag and add marinade; squeeze out excess air and refrigerate overnight for 10 to 12 hours. Transfer pork onto a roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan with all the marinade from the bag. Add water or broth to bottom of pan with marinade.

Load smoker with wet hickory chips and put roasting pan with pork in it. Set smoker to 180 to 200 degrees and smoke for 2 hours. Change hickory chips after the first hour if needed (if the chips are reduced to ashes). Baste pork, if necessary, to keep it from drying out and continue to slow cook pork in smoker for about 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Let rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Slice pork into thin pieces and lay on a slice of grilled flat bread or pita bread. Drizzle with pan juices.

Yield: 10 servings (2 appetizers per serving).


Roy will make this appetizer for vegetarians attending the Signature Chefs Auction. The recipe is a slight variation from one in "Gourmet's Parties" a 1997 cookbook from Random House.


Black Bean and Roasted Corn Tart


1/4 cup yellow corn meal or masa flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter

2 tablespoons cold water

Dry beans or raw rice for weighing down crust

Place corn meal or masa, flour, spices and salt in food processor and pulse until combined well. Add butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add cold water and pulse until it forms a dough. Press dough into a 10-inch tart or pie pan and chill for 15 minutes or until firm. Line crust with foil and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake crust in center of a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until edges are set. Remove foil and beans/rice. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until golden. Cool crust in the pan.


3 cups prepared black beans, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons sour cream

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups frozen corn, thawed

1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced

1-1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

1/4 cup fresh poblano pepper, seeded and minced

1/2 cup green onions or scallions, chopped

Place 1 cup beans and sour cream in food processor and puree until smooth; season with salt and pepper.

Preheat a skillet over medium high heat with olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add corn, season with salt and pepper and, stirring frequently, saute for 2 to 3 minutes until corn takes on a deep golden roast. Let cool. In mixing bowl, combine corn, remaining black beans, bell peppers, cilantro, cheese, poblano pepper and green onions, salt and pepper to taste.

Spread bean/sour cream puree evenly in cooled crust and top with corn mixture, pressing gently. Bake tart at 350 degrees in center of oven for 20-25 minutes or until it is hot and cheese is melted. Let tart cool for at least 15 minutes.

Serve tart slightly warm or at room temperature drizzled with Cilantro Lime Creme (recipe follows).

Servings: 10 servings.

Cilantro Lime Creme

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced

1-1/2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lime juice

Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl; mix well.

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