There is garlic shrimp and then there’s Mexican garlic shrimp! The main ingredients are garlic and shrimp, of course. Shrimp scampi, I love it! Spain’s version of camarones al ajillo, delicious! Big difference in the Mexican garlic shrimp is the red dried chiles that are added.
I am a jumbo shrimp fan!
I know that the size of the shrimp isn’t going to change the overall flavor of my shrimp dishes. By picking the jumbo shrimp, I am always ready for when bacon wrapped shrimp may happen! Lol! That is my motive for purchasing jumbo shrimp.
Frozen or fresh shrimp?
In all honesty, I rather enjoy cooking with the frozen shrimp. I can take out 6 shrimp for an appetizer recipe and keep the rest for another time. Plus, unless you live in an area that is known for it’s fresh seafood, than you don’t know how old the shrimp at the counter really is. Shrimp is caught fresh and then flash frozen. That’s good enough for me!
Are you cooking strictly with fresh herbs?
The one fresh herb I am rarely out of is cilantro. I use it a lot in my Mexican cooking. Often what happens to me is I go to the market looking for cilantro, only to find that there is none! In cases like this, I seek out herbs that are lightly dried. They can be found in the produce department. Of course, I will always opt for fresh any day, but in a pinch that will do.
People are surprised when I tell them that I store my dried chiles in the refrigerator. It keeps them from fading and it keeps any unwanted bugs off of them!
My cooking oil of choice is grapeseed or avocado oil. In cases like this recipe, olive oil is what I like to use. Grapeseed and avocado oil are natural oils, flavorless and have a high smoke point. Olve oil has a low smoke point and does impart some flavor into the foods.
Chile de arbol and chile japones are distinct, but can be substituted for one another. I think the arbol pepper is slightly hotter.
Use small shrimp and serve as an appetizer for your next party!
Mexican-Style Garlic Shrimp (Camarones Al Ajillo)
- 1 guajillo stem ans seeds removed
- 6 chile de arbol stems removed
- 8-10 cloves of garlic minced or sliced thin
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 pound shrimp cleaned and deveined
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Slice the guajillo into thin rings. If you leave the chile de arbol whole it will not add as much heat to the dish as a whole. if you want more heat, then cut them in half.
- At medium low heat, add chiles, garlic and 2 tbsp butter to the skillet. Heat on cook on low to infuse the oil slowly. The garlic will toast and the chiles will soften,
- Add remaining butter and lime juice. add shrimp. season with salt and pepper. Mix in a plash of beer or white wine. cook slowly, turning as needed. add parsley . Remove from heat.