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Sunday, October 24, 2010

San Jose del Cabo's Tequila Shrimp

On a recent trip to the southern tip of Baja California, I heard about Tequila Restaurant in San Jose del Cabo, twenty minutes east of its better known cousin, Cabo San Lucas.  Enrique Silva, co-owner and chef, introduced me to one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes, Camarones al Tequila.

He serves the shrimp with sides of black beans and fried plantains, which were great, but a bit impractical for my kitchen so I’ve adapted the recipe.

For a side, I think rice, pasta, or steamed spinach works just as well. The tequila-garlic sauce gives plenty of flavor.  Add a green salad and you have the perfect, easy-to-prepare meal.

The tequila should be white and inexpensive. Save the good stuff for your guests.

Recipe: Tequila-Garlic Shrimp

Ingredients

24 large, raw shrimp, washed, shells removed, deveined
4 garlic cloves, skins removed, finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro or Italian parsley, washed, leaves only, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon onion or shallot, finely chopped
4 oz tequila
2 tablespoons sweet butter
1 oz lime juice, fresh squeezed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Cook the rice, make the pasta, or steam the spinach ahead so the side dish and shrimp are ready at the same time.
2. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan on a medium flame. Add the garlic, cilantro (or parsley) and onion. Sauté 3-4 minutes until lightly browned.
3. Add the shrimp. Stir well to coat. Cook 2-3 minutes.
4. Add the tequila, butter and lime juice. Use a match to flame off the alcohol. 
5. Raise the heat to medium-high. Keep stirring to mix well.  The sauce should thicken in 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp.
6. Taste and adjust flavors with sea salt and pepper.  For heat, dust with a little cayenne.

Serve hot with the side of your choice.