Other Mariscos/

Devilish Shrimp

Camarones a la Diabla
Recipe from Season 3, Mexico—One Plate at a Time
Servings: 6


  • Sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 8medium-large (about 4 ounces)dried guajillo chiles
  • 1/2teaspoondried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1/4teaspoon black pepper, whole or freshly ground
  • 1/8teaspoon cumin, whole or freshly ground
  • 1medium-small onion, sliced into 8 rounds
  • 2cups fish broth, chicken broth or water, plus a little more if needed
  • 3tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 1/3 to 1/2cup red hot sauce (in Acapulco, many cooks choose Tamazula brand)
  • Salt, about 1/2 teaspoon, depending on the saltiness of the broth
  • Sugar, about 3/4 teaspoon
  • Shrimp
  • 2tablespoons butter
  • 2pounds shrimp


  1.  Roast the unpeeled garlic directly on an ungreased griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until soft (they’ll blacken in spots), about 15 minutes; cool and peel. While the garlic is roasting, toast the chiles on another side of the griddle or skillet: 1 or 2 at a time, open them flat and press down firmly on the hot surface with a spatula; when they crackle, even send up a wisp of smoke, flip them and press down to toast the other side. In a small bowl, cover the chiles with hot water and let rehydrate 30 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure even soaking. Drain and discard the water.Combine the oregano, black pepper, cumin and 1 slice of the onion in a food processor or blender. Add the drained chiles, garlic and 1/2 cup of the broth. Blend to a smooth puree, scraping and stirring every few seconds. (If the mixture just won’t go through the blender blades, add a little more liquid.) Press through a medium-mesh strainer into a bowl.Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy, medium-small (2- to 3-quart) pot (such as Dutch oven or Mexican cazuela) over medium-high. When the oil is hot enough to make a drop of the puree sizzle sharply, add the puree and stir constantly until it reduces into a thick paste, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups broth or water, partially cover and simmer over medium-low, stirring occasionally, 20 to 30 minutes for the flavors to come together. Add the hot sauce and, if necessary, stir in a little more broth or water to bring the sauce to a medium, saucy consistency. Taste and season with about 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the sugar.
  2. . In a large skillet, melt the butter with the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the remaining onion, breaking the rings apart, and cook, stirring, until the shrimp are done and the onion is beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Add the sauce and stir everything together until the sauce is boiling. Serve right away.

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