The Juchitan seafood restaurant Mariscos d’ Marlo is understandably popular among locals, with its large, attractive servings of the freshest fish and shellfish. After a wonderfully filling Sunday seafood dinner, I began asking, as usual, for one or two recipes for dishes we had particularly enjoyed. The cooks invited me into the kitchen and gave me a lesson in my absolute favorite Mexican shrimp recipe, camarones al ajillo.
The following recipe is for one serving, since it should be made a serving at a time, in order to keep the proportions correct for each serving. This dish is stunningly simple and cooks very quickly, so that if you are serving it to guests, you can have the ingredients prepared ahead of time and have no delay in serving. If you like to entertain informally, as we do, you can have each person saute his own, or at least watch hungrily while you do it.
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil (vegetable oil, safflower oil, etc.)
- 1/3 pound shrimp, heads removed, shells and tails left on (see NOTE)
- 1 small head garlic, separated into cloves, peeled and chopped
- 4 guajillo chiles, seeded and cut into 1/4″ wide strips or rings
- salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet, heat the oil, add the shrimp and garlic, and saute until the shrimp are just pink.
Add the chile strips and cook 3-4 minutes longer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, garnished with lime wedges and sprigs of parsley.
Makes 1 serving.
NOTE: If you prefer to serve the shrimp already shelled, 1/4 pound per serving is enough. The portion I was served in Juchitan contained 7 jumbo shrimp with shells.