Shrimp With Sweet Toasty Garlic (Camarones Al Mojo De Ajo)

Recipe by Chef Kate




  • First, prepare the Mojo de Ajo:
  • Chop the garlic by hand or in the food processor until the garlic bits are about an 1/8" in size--about 1/2 cup of chopped garlic.
  • Place the garlic in small saucepan, measure in the oil and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and set over medium low heat.
  • Stir occasionally as the mixture comes BARELY to a simmer (just the hint of movement on the surface of the oil).
  • Adjust the heat to the very lowest possible setting and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is a soft, pale golden --about thirty minutes.
  • Add the lime and simmer about five minutes, until the juice has evaporated or been absorbed.
  • Stir in the chiles, then taste and add additional salt if necessary.
  • Keep the pan over the lowest heat so the garlic will be warm when the shrimp are ready.
  • Put the lime wedges into a serving bowl and set them out.
  • Now, prepare the Shrimp:
  • Set a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and spoon about one and a half tablespoons of the oil (but not the garlic) from the mojo.
  • Add half the shrimp to the skillet, sprinkle with salt, and stir gently and continuously until the shrimp are just cooked through (3 to 4 minutes).
  • Add half the cilantro (if you're using it)and scoop the shrimp onto a warm, deep serving platter.
  • Repeat with another one and a half tablespoons of the oil and the rest of the shrimp and cilantro.
  • Now, finish the dish:
  • When all the shrimp are cooked and placed in the serving platter, use a slotted spoon to scoop out the warm bits of garlic and chiles from the mojo pan and scatter them over the shrimp.
  • Serve with the lime wedges to, as Mr. Bayless says, add sparkle.
  • Note: The Mojo de Ajo will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks--the oil will become solid but will liquefy again at room temperature--warm it slowly before using.
  • Note 2: For the best texture, cook the shrimp immediately before serving, but, you can cook them an hour or so ahead, douse them with the garlic and serve at room temperature.