Shrimp With Sweet Toasty Garlic (Camarones Al Mojo De Ajo)
From Rick Bayless, this is shrimp cooked in a bath of garlic, which has itself been slowly cooked to make it sweet and elegant. The recipe calls for 2 chipotle chiles. Some people may want more--a lot of people will probably want less--chipotles are HOT--so, if you're not sure, go easy and taste before you add all the chiles. This garlic "bath" is also wonderful with fish, and other seafood. It serves 6 generously as a main course, or more as an appetizer.
- Ready In:
- 3⁄4 cup garlic clove, peeled (about 2 large heads of garlic)
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lime, juice of
- 2 chipotle chiles in adobo, seeded and cut into thin strips (canned)
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- 2 lbs medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (leave on tail end if you like, about 48 shrimp)
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
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.
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Fantastic. I Americanized it a bit by adding two limes instead of one to the sauce, so it was a little bit sweeter. Otherwise followed the recipe word for word. One of those recipes that people are super impressed by yet takes fairly little effort (just have to cut up all the garlic). I looked up this recipe after having camarones al mogo de ajo at a Mexican restaraunt---honestly, this version was probably better.1Reply