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This easy recipe brings a gourmet taste of Vallarta into your kitchen at home.
Imagine sitting on the beach, enjoying a five-star dinner as the sun sinks into the sea. Since we can’t enjoy such a romantic setting every night, Executive Chef Claudio Hotter of the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit gave us the recipe for this simple (and simply delicious) shrimp, or “camarones,” dish to make at home.
Grand Velas has a reputation as a foodie paradise thanks to its three AAA four-diamond restaurants, including Frida, named after one of Mexico’s most beloved artists, Frida Kahlo. At the restaurant, traditional Mexican cuisine is elevated to an art form, in both taste and presentation.
This dish gets its name from the “molcajete,” the traditional Central American stone bowl in which it is served. Despite its long name, it’s simple to prepare. Oaxaca cheese, named after the southern Mexico state from where it originates, has a taste similar to Monterey Jack but with a mozzarella-like texture. It’s easily found in larger supermarkets or specialty markets. Guajillo chilis are moderately hot and are maroon or reddish-brown in color.
7-8 ounces Oaxaca cheese
¼ cup milk
2 lb (32 oz) medium shrimp
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 fresh* Guajillo chili, julienned
2 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
*If you can’t find a fresh chili, use dried. Simply toast it in a dry skillet over medium heat, then soak it in hot water for about 20 minutes before slicing.
In a saucepan, heat the milk to a simmer. Pull the cheese into smaller pieces, adding it to the milk and stirring until melted.
In a separate skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add the chili and garlic, followed by the shrimp once garlic begins to brown. Sautee for 3-4 minutes, until shrimp is cooked through. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.
For an authentic presentation, serve the melted cheese in a large stone bowl with the shrimp on top. Garnish with cilantro and serve with flour tortillas.
And finally, from Chef Hotter: “Enjoy it!”