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Food & Drink Blog

Monday Meal: Camarones a la Diabla

by Ted Scheffler
- Posted // 2013-03-18 -

One of my favorite Mexican dishes is camarones a la diabla ("devilish" shrimp), so named because it can be devilishly spicy. Frequently, dried chile peppers are toasted and then hydrated to make the diabla sauce. This version is a quicker, simplified one that uses chile powder rather than dried chiles.

Ingredients:

1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

3 Tbs. New Mexico chile powder (you could also experiment with others chiles, like guajillo, pasilla, etc.)

1 Tbs. paprika

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. Mexican oregano

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

16 oz. tomato sauce

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

2 jalapeno peppers, de-stemmed, seeded and chopped

1/4 cup Mexican hot sauce, such at El Pato

2 Tbs. vegetable oil

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 Tbs. unsalted butter

1/2 onion, peeled and thinly sliced

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Method:

In a blender, puree the chile powder, spices, garlic, jalapenos, hot sauce and tomato sauce until smooth. If the mixture is too thick (it should be like a thin gravy), add a little chicken broth or water.

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In a small-to-medium saucepan, heat 1 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high. When the oil is hot enough to make a drop of the sauce sizzle, carefully add the puree (it may splatter) and stir well until the mixture thickens some, about 5-7 minutes.

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Add the chicken broth and stir. Partially cover the pot, lower the heat, and allow the diabla sauce to simmer and thicken, about 30 minutes.

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Near the end of the cooking time for the diabla sauce, melt the butter along with the remaining 1 Tbs. vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Stir in the sliced onions and cook, until slightly wilted, 2-3 minutes.

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Add the shrimp to the skillet with the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are just pink but not quite cooked through; they'll finish cooking in the sauce.

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Carefully pour the diabla sauce into the skillet with the shrimp and stir well. Cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes in the sauce, until cooked through.

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Taste the sauce for spiciness and add additional Mexican hot sauce, as needed (or as much calor as you can stand!).

Serve with Mexican rice and refried beans.

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Photos by Ted Scheffler

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