|Category: Main » Shrimp Recipes|
|Title:||Quick-Fried Alaska Spot Shrimp with Sweet Toasty Garlic, by Chef Rick Bayless|
|Detail:||Recipe courtesy ASMI
Serves: 6 Generously
3/4 cup whole garlic cloves, peeled (about 2 large heads)
1 cup good-quality, preferably extra virgin olive oil
salt, as needed
2 canned chipotle chiles en abodo, seeded and cut into thin strips
2 pounds medium-large (about 48) Alaska Spot Shrimp (Prawns), peeled (leaving the last joint and tail in tact if you wish)
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped (optional)
PREPARING THE MOJO DE AJO. Either chop the garlic with a sharp knife into 1/8-inch bits or drop the cloves through the feed tube of a running food processor and process until the pieces are roughly 1/8 inch. You should have about 1/2 cup chopped garlic. Scoop into a small (1-quart) saucepan, measure in the oil and 1/2 tsp salt, and set over medium-heat. Stir occasionally as the mixture comes barely to a simmer (there should be just a hint of movement on the surface of the oil). Adjust the heat to the very lowest possible setting to keep the mixture at that very gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is soft and pale golden (the color of light brown sugar), about 30 minutes. The slower the cooking, the sweeter the garlic. Squeeze the juice of one of the limes into the pan and simmer until most of the juice has evaporated or been absorbed into the garlic, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chiles, then taste the mojo de ajo and add a little more salt if you think it needs it. Keep the pan over low heat, so the garlic will be warm when the prawns are ready. (Cut the remaining limes into wedges, scoop into a serving bowl and set on the table.)
THE PRAWNS. Devein the prawns if you wish. Set a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and spoon in 1 1/2 Tbsp of the oil (but not the garlic) from the mojo. Add half of the spot shrimp (prawns) to the skillet, sprinkle generously with salt, then stir gently and continuously until the prawns are just cooked through, 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in the cilantro or parsley if you're using it. Scoop the prawns onto a deep serving platter. Repeat with the remaining half of the prawns and another 1 1/2 Tbsp of the garlicky oil.
SERVING. When all of the prawns are cooked, divide evenly between 6 dinner plates, use a slotted spoon to scoop out the warm bits of garlic and chiles from the pan, and douse them over the prawns. (You may have as much as 1/3 cup of the oil leftover, for which you'll be grateful - it's wonderful for sauteing practically anything). Serve with lime wedges.
ADVANCED PREPARATION: The mojo de ajo keeps for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator (the oil will become solid but will liquefy again at room temperature) so I never recommend making a small amount. Mojo in the refrigerator represents great potential for a quick, wonderful dish. Warm cold mojo before using. For the best texture, cook the prawns immediately before serving. Or cook them several hours ahead, douse them with the garlic mojo and serve it all at room temperature.
Chef Rick Bayless