Inspiration: My parents have this favorite cozy little Mexican restaurant called El Salto that they often take us to that has the most amazing Mexican food. We’ve been there countless times, and we all always say that there’s nothing on the menu that’s not good. Isn’t that just the best kind of restaurant? (especially considering that it’s Mexican food…..our favorite). Anyway, one of us will sometimes get their spicy shrimp dish (I think that they call it camarones al diablo), and it’s a fabulously spicy, spicy dish. It’s the kind of dish where you have to make sure that you have a full glass of water (or margarita) in front of you while you’re eating. I was browsing through one of Rick Bayless’ books recently when I saw something that looked pretty similar – his chipotle shrimp dish – and I knew that I had to give it a try. There’s just something so fun about trying to recreate restaurant meals at home, isn’t there? Plus, we always say the same thing about Rick Bayless as we do about the restaurant – there’s nothing in his cookbooks that’s not gold.
What We Loved: This dish ended up tasting quite a bit different than our restaurant favorite, but it sure was tasty just the same. The sauce has just the perfect amount of spice and heat (with a nice, smoky kick from the adobo sauce), and the shrimp are so tender and succulent, as shrimp should always be. We loved the fresh cilantro garnish and the lovely tart zip that came from squeezing fresh lime juice atop the meal as we ate. If you like spicy food, then this recipe is definitely a winner. We served it alongside some fresh homemade guacamole for a great Saturday night Mexican supper.
Tips: For the amount of shrimp that we cooked (one pound between two people), there was a lot of extra sauce in the pan. I’d recommend cooking anywhere between 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of shrimp to serve three or four with the amount of sauce called for in the recipe below. Or, I’d use less chicken stock so that the sauce is thicker and you have less leftover in the pan.
Source: Slightly adapted from Rick Bayless, from Mexican Everyday
1 14.5 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
2 canned chipotles in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1 lb fresh, large shrimp
1. Pour the drained tomatoes into a food processor. Add the chipotles and the adobo sauce, and process until smooth.
2. Heat a couple pats of butter in a saute pan. Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
3. Pour in the tomato sauce, stir to combine, and cook for about five minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
4. Add the chicken stock and about a teaspoon of salt (more or less to taste). Allow to simmer and reduce until the sauce is thickened.
5. Add the shrimp, and continue to cook until the shrimp are cooked through, about 4-5 minutes.
6. Serve the shrimp garnished with cilantro and lime wedges.