THE Dish: Chef Norman Van Aken's shrimp anato with cumin-lime butter

Norman Van Aken
Norman Van Aken

(CBS News) Renowned Chef Norman Van Aken is known internationally as "the founding father of new world cuisine" for his celebration of Latin, Caribbean, Asian, African and American flavors. 

He also introduced the concept of "fusion" to the culinary world. He is the chef and director of restaurants at the Miami Culinary Institute (including Tuyo), and chef-owner of the fine dining restaurant Norman's at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando in Grande Lakes, Fla.

In 2006 at Madrid Fusion, Spain's annual international gastronomy summit, Van Aken was honored with Alice Waters, Paul Prudhomme and Mark Miller as a "founder of the new American cuisine." Van Aken has written four books: "Feast of Sunlight," "The Exotic Fruit Book," "Norman's New World Cuisine," and "New World Kitchen." His fifth, "My Key West Kitchen," was published in 2012.

He stopped by "CBS This Morning: Saturday" to serve up several recipes, including his ultimate dish: shrimp anato.

Special section: Food and Wine

Shrimp anato with cumin-lime butter

Serves 4

Annatto oil

1 teaspoon annatto seeds

1/2 cup pure olive oil

Cumin-lime butter

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon toasted and ground cumin seeds

1 shallot, sliced

4 black peppercorns, bruised

1 bay leaf, broken

1/4 cup heavy cream

5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, cold

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


2 tablespoons annatto oil (above)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 shallot, thinly sliced

1/2 to 1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded and minced

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

24 shrimp (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and deveined

3/4 cup fresh orange juice

1 1/2 cups smokey oven-roasted tomatoes


1. Place the annatto seeds in a clean, dry saucepan and toast over medium-high heat until the seeds are quite warm.

2. Add the olive oil, and when it starts to simmer, remove the pan from the heat and let the oil cool.

3. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve and set the oil aside until needed. It can also be made a week in advance and stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

4. In a heavy-bottomed nonreactive saucepan, combine the orange juice, lime juice, cumin seeds, shallot, peppercorns and bay leaf and reduce over medium-high heat until the mixture becomes light and syrupy, 8 to 10 minutes.

5. Stir in the cream and bring to a boil, letting it reduce just a bit.

6. Whisk in the butter and season with salt and pepper. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and keep warm until needed.

7. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat.

8. Add the annatto oil and butter and swirl.

9. Stir in the shallot, serrano chile and garlic.

10. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the shallots are softened and lightly golden.

11. Add the shrimp and stir, season with salt and pepper, and cook, turning from time to time to cook evenly. When the shrimp are cooked through, add the orange juice.

12. Using tongs transfer the shrimp one by one to a large bowl and keep warm. Reduce the juice to a syrupy consistency. Pour the reduced liquid through a fine strainer and drizzle it over the finished plate when ready to serve.

13. Dice the smokey tomatoes and place them on a platter in a 350 degrees oven to warm them up.

14. Spoon the warm cumin-lime butter onto 4 warm plates.

15. Distribute the shrimp on top of that and drizzle the warm annatto oil on top of the shrimp for added flavor.

16. Scatter the smoked tomatoes around the shrimp and serve immediately.

Smokey oven-roasted tomatoes

Makes 3 cups

2 1/2 pounds ripe, in-season tomatoes, sliced in half and deseeded

1 tablespoon smoked pimentón

1/2 tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

2 1/2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar, for drizzling


1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

2. Arrange the tomato slices, cut side up, on the prepared pan.

3. In a small bowl, stir together the pimentón, salt and pepper.

4. Season the cut sides of the tomatoes evenly with the spice rub. '

5. Drizzle with the oil and vinegar and roast in the oven until the tomato skins begin to pull away from the tomatoes, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and let cool.

6. When cool enough to handle, peel away the tomato skins and discard.

7. Smokey tomatoes can be chopped or blended, depending on how you intend to use them. Use immediately or transfer to several airtight containers or zip-tight plastic bags and refrigerate for up to two week or freeze up to three months

Spinach salad

Serves 4 to 6

Piquant dressing

2 cups ketchup

2 cups pure olive oil

1 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup tarragon vinegar

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon Dijon or Creole mustard

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tablespoon paprika

1/2 sweet Vidalia onion, diced

6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

Spiced pecans

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon hot paprika

1 teaspoon chile molido or pure red chile powder

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 cup sugar

1 large egg white

1/4 cup sorghum (or maple) syrup

1 pound raw pecan halves

Spinach salad

6 cups spinach leaves, washed and stems trimmed

1 cup fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled

1 cup croutons


1. Preheat the oven to 315 degrees.

2. Make the dressing: in a medium bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients except the eggs. Fold in the eggs and set aside. You'll have more than enough for this salad so save some in the refrigerator for another day.

3. Make the spiced pecans: in a small bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients for the spiced pecans in a bowl.

4. In a large bowl, whisk the egg white and maple syrup to loosen the egg white. Toss the pecans in the mixture. Add the dry ingredients and toss until all of the pecans are evenly coated.

5. Spread the pecans out on a sheet pan and roast them, stirring and turning intermittently, until toasted and somewhat dry, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for 1 to 2 hours, until they become crunchy.

6. Make the spinach salad: in a large bowl, toss the spinach leaves with the dressing, as desired. Toss with the spiced pecans, basil, blue cheese and croutons and serve.

Ingredient note: look for Maytag blue cheese out of Iowa or Asher Blue from sweet grass dairy in Thomasville, Georgia.

They are not salty and appeal to a broad range of tastes.