Camarones al Mojo de Ajo (Shrimp with Garlic Sauce)

Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.

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3/4 cup garlic cloves, peeled, whole (about 2 large heads)
1 cup olive oil, preferably extra-virgin
salt to taste
3 limes
2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, seeded and cut into thin strips
2 pounds medium-large shrimp, peeled
3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped


1. Chop the garlic into 1/8″ bits. Scoop the garlic into a saucepan, measure in the oil and 1/2 tsp. of salt, and set over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally as the mixture comes barely to a simmer. Adjust the heat to the very lowest possible setting to keep the mixture at very gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is soft and pale golden, about 30 minutes.

2. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime 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 and add more salt as needed. Keep the pan on low heat. Cut the remaining limes into wedges and reserve.

3. De-vein the shrimp. Set a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and spoon in 1-1/2 Tbsp. of oil, but not the garlic, from the garlic mixture (the mojo). Add half of the shrimp to the skillet and sprinkle generously with salt, then stir the mixture gently and continuously until the shrimp are just cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the cilantro or parsley and set aside. Repeat with the remaining half of the shrimp and another 1-1/2 Tbsp. of the garlicky oil.

4. To serve:

Scoop out the warm bits of garlic and chiles from the pan and spoon them over the shrimp. Serve with fresh lime wedges.

Yields 6 servings.

Recipe by Rick Bayless.